Social TV and the Rise of the Second Screen

Photo Credit: Gigaom.com

A dominating topic at the first annual Cynopsis Sports Business Summit, where industry leaders gathered to talk about emerging trends in sports marketing, was “TV Everywhere.”  TV Everywhere is the concept of accessibility to premium content (movies, TV sports, etc.) online via a variety of display devices including PC, mobile and TV.  It can either be seen via the first screen (the standard channel fans use to consume news/sports – television) or second screen  (where viewers can optimize their television experience via apps like Into Now, Miso, GetGlue, or Viggle; descriptions below).  There was general agreement that marketers have huge opportunities to leverage the second screen to enhance engagement and brand loyalty.

Today, over 77 million homes in the US have “TV Everywhere” capabilities, which means those households can access second screen at home (i.e., iPad/tablet, mobile). Additionally there is a 50/50 usage rate between mobile and tablets. Marketers have generally found second screen users are highly engaged because they are actively seeking insider information and see the web, with its infinite opportunities, as the avenue to get that information.

Second screen is not without its disadvantages. Marketers have a hard time conceptualizing the return on investment because it’s extremely difficult to authenticate users. For example, consumers have to log in using their cable username and password for second screen apps HBO Go and Watch ESPN. However, most consumers do not know that information. And while “TV Everywhere” is meant to enhance an experience, a lot of wireless devices do not work while they are in a sports stadium. Fans are still continuing to attend games for the live experience, but with second screen and HDTV, they now expect more. So how can brands capitalize on this need to make that experience richer?

MMC has been leveraging the second screen experience at sporting events for a number of clients, providing behind-the-scenes access and insider information about spokespeople via video, exclusive photos and pre-launch teasers for Facebook fans. The key is to provide real-time updates via our client’s social media channels to keep fans engaged. As the idea of “TV Everywhere” continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see where marketers take the second screen concept.

Current trending second screen apps include:

  • Into Now – real-time identification of the show you are watching and then connecting viewers to different information to bring them enhanced engagement (i.e., football game statistics)
  • Miso – users can check into television shows to get a 360º experience that provides information such as what the cast is wearing, trivia, funny quotes and where they can purchase products
  • GetGlue – social sites where users can see what their friends like in terms of books, TV shows and music and get recommendations based on their interests
  • Viggle  – a loyalty program for television that gives people real rewards for checking into the television shows they’re watching