The Second Screen Boosts Engagement Levels

People who own tablets and smartphones often watch television while they are using their mobile devices. Accessing a variety of content and features that enrich television programming, this trend is known as the second screen revolution. Transforming the experience of watching TV, mobile devices are proving to be an invaluable tool for broadcasters and advertisers.

Second screen apps, social networks, and mobile sites increase the promotion of television shows, and the demand for products and services. Many businesses are capitalizing on this new wave in digital media. Broadcasters, advertisers, electronics manufacturers, and technology companies are working to further the uses of second screen capabilities.

The social media phenomenon helped to make the experience of watching television more interactive, with users sharing their opinions and insight about programs while watching them. When social media users post comments about television shows, their friends are motivated to join in and watch also. This is a major advantage of second screen activities.

Mobile apps that provide updates on television programs are also popular with device users who are watching TV. Users read and explore content as they watch shows to find out more about what they are seeing. There are also apps that provide bonus content and features related to television shows, including photos, interviews, polls, games, contests, and more. Offering viewers these types of extras increases their engagement and loyalty.

Commercial ads promoting products and services are also integrated into second screen apps and sites. Instead of just airing a short commercial, the best ads aim to involve users in some way. Incentives that motivate users to interact with ads on portable devices boost their effectiveness. Increasing ad engagement levels, this approach is very effective for creating impressions and branding.

An app that is utilized by many brands, Shazam gives mobile users access to exclusive content and special offers. Providing customized second screen experiences, the app was used to enable interactive ads during the Super Bowl. Attracting millions of users, the effort was very successful.

Another major player in the second screen arena is Microsoft’s Xbox. Xbox SmartGlass enables communication between the Xbox 360 and mobile devices. Providing enhancements for all types of content played with the Xbox 360, it works with TV shows, movies, music, games, and more. It also enables programming to be transferred between devices, in case you need to step away from the television and don’t want to miss anything.

Enabling interaction between Blu-ray movies and iPads or computers, Disney Second Screen provides content designed to go with the movie you are watching. It provides interactive galleries, videos, games, informational content, special effects, and other enhancements. The features work with movies from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, which sync with devices through an audio cue, visual indicator, or manual input.

A platform for users to share information in real time on what show or movie they are seeing, GetGlue is a site where users “check in” while they are watching. The site spread through social media, attracting a wide user base and advertising dollars from TV networks. In addition, Zeebox is an app that enables users to see what their friends are watching. It functions as an electronic program guide, and supports user interaction. Another second screen offering is IntoNow. It allows users to sync to a show in order to access related stories from Yahoo and social media.

The distraction of viewers from commercial advertising while they are using their tablet or smartphone is the central challenge of the second screen revolution. In order to avoid this dilemma, the experience needs to be standardized. A standard technology that enables ads to run at the same time on both televisions and devices is the best way to ensure that advertising messages are being received.

Ideally advertising content should be programmed to run simultaneously, with special effects and interactive features active in the mobile device version. Imagine the benefit to advertisers with this type of standardized approach to utilizing the second screen. Is it not the best way to capture the attention and interest of many people who do not normally pay attention to commercial ads? How much potential does standardization have to increase the impact of second screen advertising?

Screen image on home page via Shutterstock.

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