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COM 460 Blog of My Choice: Second Screen Viewing

October 18, 2013

For this week’s COM 460 blog post of my choice, I would like to explore the topic of second screen viewing. This is basically the idea that media users often use more than one device at the same time. Example include activities like using one’s iPhone research sports while watching some sporting event on television. Another example is me using my iPhone while I write this to do further research about second screen viewing (among texting friends and listening to music).

After performing a Google Image search for ”Second Screen Viewing”, user engagement and interactivity is key. When watching live television, people naturally get bored and pull out their devices. Broadcasters and media influencers to capitalize on this boredom. The challenge lies in engaging viewers with interactive content to keep them tuned in to the program and through the commercial break.

I like the topic of second screen viewing because (I have been told) it is one potential avenue for social media and marketing. There is already a number of apps for this purpose and Jeffrey Wilson addresses the h “5 Greatest Second-Screen Apps to Enhance the TV Experience. He sums up the topic well by commenting how “downloading these apps to mobile devices let boob tubers acquire ancillary information about a movie, TV show, or commercial”. The top 5 best apps (in one blogger’s opinion) for second screen viewing include, IntoNow, SoundTracking, Shazam, Twitter, and Zeebox. I have personally used both Twitter and Shazam and Twitter in some cases. Twitter can be used to search specific program hashtags (seems like every show has a hashtag these days) and Shazam works with audio to identify a specific commercial and take you to a page with more info about the product. From my experience, Shazam works well but I really don’t care about most commercials enough to look deeper into their webpage. As for Twitter as a second screen option, I usually get sidetracked doing other stuff before looking up a show’s hashtag.

One Second Screen Inforgraphic from the awesomely-named site outlines the who, what, when, where, how of second-screen (and even third-screen) viewership. One stat that really caught my eye was that 30% of tablet users spend 11-20 hours a week on their tablets. Thats almost like a second job. Also, a large percentage of users are active between the hours of 5-11PM. With just these couple statistics, one can see the potential audience for marketers looking to target the American public. In short, targeting multi-taskers doing research about potential product purchases should be the goal of advertisers. Second screen viewing is a great emerging avenue to tap deeper into the consumer market. This is also one outlet that I will keep in mind for my work with UofL Athletics this semester.



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