Second Screens Invade Living Rooms

Although some have predicted the success of mobile and streaming services would be the downfall of standard TV viewing, TVs haven’t left living rooms yet. People are still watching, and TV producers are figuring out ways to use mobile devices to their advantage. One way they are embracing these changes is by adopting mobile devices as second screens — interactive options that enhance the viewing experience.

According to Business Insider, 88 percent of consumers take advantage of the second screen option while viewing TV. In fact, you may already be using mobile as a second screen without even being aware of it.

Second screen?

What counts as a second screen? Pretty much any other screened device you use while watching TV. Your smartphone, tablet or even computer could be considered a second screen. If you are using another device to augment your viewing experience, you are using a second screen.

This can be anything from using your phone to look up information about the show you are watching, using an app on your tablet that syncs with the program on your big screen or going the social route — Tweeting with friends about the game.

Photo by avlxyz via Flickr

TV Network Apps

TV networks are discovering a new opportunity to sell advertisements on second screens, and are working to create their own apps in hopes you will use them. With a new technology created by startup Watchwith, broadcast TV can now sync their programming with a variety of pertinent information via the web.

Venture Beat says this gives broadcasters a potential way to hold your interest in a way traditional commercials no longer can. Trivia questions related to the show, and facts about the program, are just a few ways broadcasters are taking advantage of second screens.

Watchwith works across a wide range of second screen apps, including Shazam and Zeebox, as well as for broadcast-specific apps, such as Fox Now.

Social TV

Not all second screen use is about information. Using Twitter to comment and share info about TV shows is also huge, especially among young adults. Twitter is the go-to social forum for TV watchers. Ninety-five percent of the conversations that happen in public about TV occur on Twitter, Brafton reports.

Live events are where social media really shines as a second screen. People who bought sports packages from vendors such as know this best. Sports viewers like to Tweet about games — especially the big one.

Tweets about the latest Super Bowl hit 24.1 million, The Big Story reports. That is almost double the amount of Tweeting that occurred the prior year.

People are learning they can discuss events as they happen over social platforms. Not only can viewers enjoy new information, do in-depth research during the course of a show, and experience special features through broadcast-specific apps, they can also carry on a conversation with people all around the world about what they are viewing.

What are your predictions for second screen interactions with TV? Leave them in the comments.

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