In what may be the most exhaustive analysis of the burgeoning “second screen” TV marketplace to date, two of Interpublic’s elite media units have concluded that what began as an “industry coping mechanism for the consumer attention crisis” is evolving into more targeted forms of television that are accelerating how viewers interact and participate with the medium.
The report, a collaboration of the IPG Media Lab and Magna Global, also finds that despite the explosion of screens with which consumers watch or supplement television, the vast majority of it still happens in the living room, on a couch.
“Seventy percent of our client’s money is still spent in the living room, trying to reach people watching TV. And that’s stable,” says Natalie Bokenham, director of strategy at IPG Media Lab -- who, along with Magna Senior Vice President Audience Analytics Brian Hughes, are authors of the report, “Second Screen Marketplace: Trends and Opportunities.”
Their conclusion is that while overall TV ad spending is remaining constant, as is the amount of time consumers spend watching the medium, it is becoming fragmented across an increasing number of screens.
Interestingly, the Interpublic study is being released just as another researcher, IHS Inc., released a forecast projecting the number of Internet-connected video devices will exceed the global population by 2017. While an Internet-connected device might be the primary TV screen in some of those markets, Interpublic concludes that in the U.S., the trend is definitely toward multiple screen experiences, and that the term “second screen” is a misnomer, because American TV viewers may actually be supplementing their TV experiences across an array of devices: PCs, tablets, gaming systems and smartphones.
“Why do we call it ‘second screen?” Bokenham asked rhetorically during a briefing with Media Daily News, adding: “To some, the second screen is becoming the first screen.” In fact, one of the more significant predictions made by the lab in the report, is that within three to five years, a mobile-based screen will become the primary “content hub” for consumers, relegating the traditional television set to a “dumb screen” status.