CES 2014: Second screen users shun live TV sync

Editor | 11-01-2014

Research from the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) has revealed that broadcasters have some way to go to fully realise the potential of second screen services.

The research found that at present synchronised content available for TV programmes does not generate strong positive perceptions, with only 13% indicating that it makes their viewing experience “much more enjoyable.”
Only 42% have tried synchronising their content experience to live TV and almost four-fifths of second screen users access their connected device while watching TV programming with nearly all of such views accessing asynchronous content, either right before watching a show, right after watching, or between episodes/seasons.
More than half of those who access synchronous second screen content were found to do so during commercials, offering, said NAPTE and the CEA, opportunity to provide synchronised content that can be easily and quickly accessed during commercial air time.
For those consuming synchronised content, the most commonly used device is the smartphone, driven primarily by those aged 13 to 34. Older viewers were more likely to use a tablet or laptop while viewing. Very few find navigating synchronised second screen content difficult, but those who do cite a number of technical barriers that keep the synchronised experience from being ideal. The most cited issues are related to connectivity, content that is not optimised for the smartphone, screen size and difficulty in locating content online.
“This important research study underscores the exciting opportunities for consumer technology device manufacturers to market connected devices and potentially collaborate with content producers to enhance and improve the Second Screen experience,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro.
“Our joint study shows that consumers accessing synchronised content generally find it fun to use and more connected to the shows they are watching. At the same time, the study indicates there is an opportunity to expand consumer engagement with the second screen across a broader variety of programming.”
"Through NATPE's partnership with CEA, the findings in this study present new information, challenges and significant opportunities for content producers and advertisers,” added NATPE President and CEO Rod Perth. “We know TV viewers are beginning to use the second screen because it has the potential to extend enjoyment of the viewing experience. We believe this research study will illuminate new entertainment possibilities for consumers as well as content creators."