Second screen recognised as permanent part of viewing experience

Editor | 28-01-2014

The second part of the NATPE/ CEA survey into second-screen usage has revealed 'tremendous potential' in content designed for synchronous viewing and the simultaneous usage of both a primary screen and second device.

The first part of the report from Research from the US Consumer Electronics Association and National Association of Television Program Executives found that broadcasters have some way to go to fully realise the potential of second-screen services, with synchronised content available for TV programmes not generating strong positive perceptions, and only 13% indicating that it makes their viewing experience "much more enjoyable." In addition it showed that despite four-fifths of second-screen users accessing their connected device while watching TV programming, only 42% tried synchronising their content experience to live TV and almost

Part two has revealed a more positive view of the second screen, with a general consensus that it is as an inevitable part of the future. Even though some believe there are strong opportunities for synchronous viewing going forward, producers were found to be still searching for the best solutions to optimise technology to create a seamless experience for the viewer. Indeed the survey found second-screen content designed for synchronous viewing does not currently have unanimous support among show runners beyond sports, reality shows and news.

Yet most study participants said they are excited about the opportunities second-screen content will provide creators, from building and sustaining a brand to providing a more meaningful connection between viewers and content. They view the second screen largely as a tool to drive viewers back to first screen content.

There was consensus among the producers and creators that content not meant for live viewing presents an additional second-screen opportunity to maximise and extend their brand. While opinions about second screen were mixed, nearly all agree that, if done properly, second screen offers a significant opportunity to grow and sustain audiences around appointment viewing television, and to increase viewer loyalty.

Additionally, the producers and creators surveyed found that the second screen enhances the viewing experience in a number of ways: building social currency among viewers; making viewers feel special; bringing about a deeper experience with the primary content; creating a shared viewing experience and sense of community among fans; and maintaining a show's relevance by offering viewers a platform to continue to interact and talk about the programme, even when it's not on air.

"Phase one of our joint research project helped identify key areas of consumer interest in engaging in the second screen experience," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "Part two provides critical insights on second screen from the television production community. A deeper exploration of the intersection of these two studies will help device manufacturers and content producers identify a winning, strategic approach to develop this promising market by providing tangible benefits to viewers."