Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Second Screen: Past, Present & Future

Remember way back (like maybe 2005) when there was only one screen that TV broadcasters and Cable networks needed to fill. These days, it's all about the two-screen experience. People have been watching television with their laptops, smartphones and tablets in hand for a while now. But last year, Networks and show Producers alike tried harder than ever to bring television to a second screen. Even the 2012 Summer Olympics received the second screen treatment with its very own Android and iOS apps, which let users catch live streams of events, access stats and more from the comfort of their couches. If you're starting to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options, you're not alone so during the recent CES show I took the opportunity to spend part of my day at Second Screen Summit to talk shop and discuss the future of the industry.

Put aside for a moment the tweets and check-ins that have been typically considered the currency of social TV, despite uncertain value in driving actual ratings. TV networks in 2013 are going to make further efforts to seamlessly connect their traditional programming with the second screen in a way that reinforces both venues. That might mean more entries in the model of Bravo's "Top Chef" companion "Last Chance Kitchen" -- an online and on-demand series that pits eliminated contestants against each other for the chance to re-enter the main show. Also expect to see more like CBS'S successful CBS Connect, which infused NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI and Hawaii Five-O with second screen features. With an iPad in hand, NCIS fans can review evidence in-sync with the show, read up on suspects, rifle through maps, interact through social networks and more

Another tend shows more traditional TV shows integrating live on-screen results from polls and games conducted via apps or the web. Successful attempts will provide entertainment with substance and stakes but at this juncture no one company has the preverbal "silver bullet". What will more likely happen over the next 12-18 months is consolidation when major providers like Comcast, Dish, AT&T and others who have (or are about too) launched tablet apps with guide various remote control functionality will then buy the GetGlue's and Viggle's or whatever to incorporate their functionalities so that the operators can more effectively compete with each other." Clearly many companies are vying for a foothold in our living rooms and for the foreseeable future we will see the ecosystem continue to grow and diversify. Personally I think it's an exciting time in the business. More to come on this subject this year but for now if you seek additional info see:
Engadget: The state of the Second Screen (01/11) or Mashable: Second Screen

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