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Connected experiences which seamlessly fuse second screens and connected TVs have been ‘the future of TV’ for so long it almost feels like a returning series.
Playing along with a quiz show, requesting a product sample during an advert, taking a breakfast news feature with you on your morning commute so you can finish watching, all could be routine.
But despite the enablers and technology being in place this seismic shift in the viewing experience stubbornly refuses to go mainstream. Why is this?
As homes and offices fill with more and more internet-connected devices, consumers are increasingly consuming content on multiple screens.
Content creators and distributors know this. Advertisers know this. Analysts know this. Entrepreneurs and startups know this.
Twitter's purchase of social television analytics firm Bluefin Labs, its largest purchase to date, reveals both its interest in connecting the viewers of media, and in gaining some of the revenue currently headed to television advertising.
Though its business model may have seemed quixotic in its early days, Twitter is building a potential case as the network able to reach people based on their most immediate interests.
Though the definition of social TV does expand beyond second screening to the advancement of technology in our TVs themselves and the interaction with programming, it still often relates to how consumers use their tablets and mobiles while watching traditional TV programming.
With the rise of video in 2013, it is only natural that we will continue to look at our relationship and interaction with all of our devices. As the use of mobile while watching TV is steadily increasing, 2013 may bring more overlapping content that moves beyond advertising.
Mobile, Product Managers, and the changing ‘landscape’ for journalism and broadcasting are all ‘so hot right now’, and topics we discuss a fair bit at Econ towers.
Chris Ramsbottom is a Mobile Product Manager at BSkyB, so I thought I’d ask him some questions, and get some views straight from the horse’s mouth.
If you’ve watched any episodes in the current series of X Factor you’ll be aware that the show’s producers are pulling out all the stops to get people talking about the show on social media.
During the auditions new hashtags flashed up after almost every performer, which may have seemed like overkill, but was in fact a shrewd tactic for encouraging more people to tune in.
This is because a new Red Bee Media survey of 2,000 smartphone owners found that one in three respondents said that they are more likely to watch a show live rather than on-demand if there is significant social buzz around that programme.
In fact social media appears to be the most effective way for broadcasters to engage with smartphone owners, as although 86% of respondents said they have used a second screen while watching TV just one in five have used a synchronous companion app such as Zeebox.
It should be noted however that in the population as a whole second screening is less popular than among smartphone owners.
Hollywood may not have a reputation for embracing new channels, but it's increasingly clear that new channels have the ability to help Hollywood's biggest companies succeed as consumers use technology to interact with content in new ways.
This is especially evident in the world of social media. It's increasingly evident that social channels can impact the small screen, and even though television and cable networks may not fully understand what this means yet, many of them are experimenting and investing in social because they see the potential to benefit.
Nearly a quarter of people (24%) use second screens while watching TV and almost half of all 16-24 year olds use communication tools such as messaging, email, Facebook, or Twitter to discuss what they are watching on TV.
The findings come from a survey by Deloitte, which interviewed 2,000 UK respondents aged 16+ about their viewing habits and use of second screens.
It found that despite the rise in second screening people only one in ten people browse the internet for information about the programme they are watching.
Furthermore, 68% of respondents that do use the internet to connect with a programme would not want the websites for products, personalities or adverts that have just been shown on television, to automatically appear on their second screen.
Using a second screen while watching TV is now the norm for most consumers, whether it be a laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Gone are the days of sitting glued to the screen for an entire episode of EastEnders or tolerating ad breaks, nowadays viewers have other options if the action on-screen is a tad dull.
Our recent report, The Multi-Screen Marketer, shows that 52% of respondents that own a television and computer are likely to be using another device while watching TV. This rises to 60% among smartphone owners.
The Olympics is the perfect opportunity for brands to grab viewers’ attention with second screen apps as people will be hungry for updates and stats from other events while watching the live action on TV.
With increasing smartphone penetration, the growing use of tablets, as well as laptops and PCs, it's more than likely that people are viewing TV while using another device, or with one close at hand.
For our Multi-Screen Marketer report (free to Econsultancy members), produced in association with the IAB, we looked at the trends in this area, and the important lessons for marketers.
I'll look at some of the stats from the report, as well as examples of publishers and brands that are beginning to adapt to this trend.
The goal was to find out how they use a second screen while watching television and to help us understand the impact of these behaviors on advertising and marketing.
There's no shortage of research on the topic, so we focused on areas that believe to be the least examined (and most useful), including how different types of content correlate with multi-tasking, how the distraction of the second screen affects advertiser awareness and what consumers expect from their TV experience in the future.
When two very different industries like traditional broadcast television and digital collide, it’s difficult to ignore the implications on both sides.
While analysts predict that 60% of households will be watching internet TV by 2014 and many companies are trying to capitalise on shifting viewing habits, the connected TV market is still in a nascent stage.
To coincide with the recent release of Econsultancy’s Connected TV Smart Pack, we’ve identified five key elements of this emerging ecosystem that any marketer needs to be aware of.
These are what we call the five Cs of connected TV...