Who will control the second screen?

November 12, 2013 10.46 Europe/London By by Robert Briel, Connections Europe 2013, Amsterdam

“TV channels have been successful in winning the battle for the second screen,” according to Oarnge’s Patroice Slupowski.

Speaking at Parks Associates’ Connections Europe 2013 conference in Amsterdam he said this could change in the next few years, “Zapping from one TV channel to another takes about a second, but moving from one TV app to another takes three seconds as minimum.

“So umbrella apps are needed, the question will be who will be behind that second screen app?
The telco’s? Or the big social players, such as Facebook, or Twitter. You see that Twitter is already buying up small companies to connect with TV.

“Or the TV listings companies? Those are people knowing a lot about TV. But I expect that three to five years from now TV channels will be mastering this platform.”

Orange has launched its own second screen app, TVcheck, which is live in France and the UK and which combines the three major functions – discovery, play and social. The app offers an EPG, but also gives recommendations and tells the users what his friends are watching.

Viewers “check in” to live TV using image recognition technology by pointing the mobile phone at the screen using the phone’s camera. The channel and show are immediately identified and people can share what they’re watching with friends on Facebook and Twitter and comment on the show.

People can also earn badges, win prizes and challenge other members to become ‘Top Dog’ of their favourite shows.

Thinking about other future developments of the TV, Slupowski is not a great believer in smart TVs, “You forget about the apps, when there are hundreds of them.” HbbTV is also questionable, “It good idea to bring some service, and bring kind of reference for all connected devices, but do we really think customers like this acronym?”

nPVR might also not work because of all the issues with copyrights and content owners.

“With Social TV the change of behaviour is not faked; and 4k will happen, that is also pretty evident. Fibre is for us a must.”

Summing up Slupowski said recommendations and personalisation will be important, enrich video experience beyond social, there will be multiple contact point with video as well as more piecewise programme consumption.