Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thoughts on Second Screen

With the ongoing success of tablets, media companies and many social platforms get all exited about the "Second Screen".
Second Screen is short hand for getting additional content on your tablet while watching TV. Sometimes it refers to the device itself, sometimes to certain apps on this device.

The quest for the perfect second screen app reminds me of the race for killer app in the early 2000s for the mobile phones. Everyone is jumping in and wants to define the second screen experience.

TV stations, networks and content owners/producers rush to the race in creating very narrow and limited second screen apps for certain programs, TV series', ... Just because they noticed the success of Twitter (and probably Facebook as well).

My 0.02$:

Yes, there is a (very positive) second screen trend right now... but it is defined by the users, not be the content providers. I don't see a lot of sense in creating separate apps per TV program, because that's not like we users behave.

When I watch TV (or a DVD, or streaming, for that matter) I do have my iPad on my lap (or next to me), and I spend quite some time with it: e.g. in IMDB, or Twitter, or Facebook, or Google+ (or my email).
Point is, it is somewhat, but not 100% related to the program I'm watching. I'd never open one specific app e.g. the Breaking Bad app just because I'm watching Breaking Bad...

I don't want to engage in anything (and most probably not the things, the network wants me to), I want to look up actors; or find some background information; or see where Downton Abbey exteriors where shot (link) and find that on Google maps; or have the twitter stream for the election night run by while I watch as Ohio is being called.

But that's my personal second screen usage or experience, not a pre-defined one.

3 comments:

Erich Mauerböck said...

This is what we actually did the early days of mobile apps (J2ME then), a CROSS PROVIDER app (called MAC (sic!), which in this case meant Mobile Advertisement Channel)) that however never came to fly. It gave you a better UX by providing an additional near-realtime channel for broadcast media content.

Andreas Huber said...

The TV guide app like A1 TV is the appropriate second screen app, at least for me. In connection with a stb there are a lot of possibilies. What is your opinion?

Roman Brandl said...

Andi, can't say, I don't use A1 TV (or any other cable / STB TV actually)