We’re all guilty of it. You might not even know you’re committing the act since it feels so natural. Of course I’m talking about using a mobile device while watching television.
It’s insane! How could anyone watch TV and use their phone or iPad at the same time? Admit it, you want it all! And who can blame you? We all yearn to simultaneously watch Reality TV and shop online for a Real Housewives of Wherever beer stein, the statistics don’t lie.
According to Business Insider, “…85% of smartphone users reported second screen-linked behavior at least once a month, over 60% reported doing it on a weekly basis, and 39% did so daily. Over 80% of 18- to 24-year-olds [reported using] their phone while watching TV, and 60% of Americans with annual incomes above $50,000 use their phones while watching TV.”
This new social addiction, duly titled “Second Screen”, is the emerging frontier for all booming tech companies, app developers and savvy digital marketers.
Mashable defines Second Screen as, “While watching or engaging with content on one device (typically a television set), additional contextual information and content can be displayed on a companion device such as a tablet, smartphone or computer screen.”
Because of this user/viewer behavior, marketers are taking your leisure time to the next level by introducing television-mobile synchronous applications. Although modern apps only deliver content, network television is in the lab developing better Second Screen apps.
The Syfy channel and Trion Worlds’ new interactive show “Defiance,” a TV/Video Game show, is the first of its kind: It combines interactive video game play with real television plot. Players are able to revisit a previous television episode and manipulate the characters and their actions (as video-game avatars of course! Not the real actors!). Click for more.
So what does the future hold for Second Screen technology? American Idol’s “vote for the winner” model is quickly going to evolve into viewer-scripted entertainment. How about entire channels devoted to viewer-voted programming? Is this the long-form pitch for BaconCat TV? But more importantly, how can marketers use this new avenue to their advantage?
Dare to be Square. Because the only thing you have to fear is… business as usual.