I have been writing about second screen before and the definition of what the first screen is and what it can do. Obviously, this topic becomes more interesting to me, now that I work for a company offering the sync between TV and 2nd screen, or TV and digital if you like. But this isn’t a sales pitch, rather an evaluation of what’s happening in the market.
Emarketer’s recent report confirms what many studies have shown over the past few months: our engagement with TV, particularly during the ad breaks, is moving from the TV screen to the mobile, tablet, laptop screens or even portable gaming devices. Interesting enough, though, this particular reports says, the engagement is primarily on the TV screen and not the mobile screen.
Again, this is the chicken-and-egg situation, as most things in digital, whether the main screen is the TV or the mobile one. I use the mobile screen as a synonym for “portable” screens. The study further suggests that when using predominately smartphones we are engaging more on searching the web than on social media. And of social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter seem to be on top, and it could be non-related to what’s happening on TV at all, e.g., no hashtag or show following or liking.
In many discussions, I found out that everyone knows of a correlation between TV and mobile screens. No one knows exactly what and how but, of course, knows there is one. I am not disclosing my secrets here if I say that those screens go hand in hand. We as a nation, as humans, engage more and more with our mobile devices. We use them to check our bank statements, our social status, our text messages, emails, forums, or search for ideas, order books or toys or groceries. The mobile is our daily device with wearable tech usage and usability growing to become connected to mobiles and monitoring us 24/7.
We are relying more and more on those little three-inch+ screens that allow us to identify whether our BMI (body mass index) is too high or whether we are likely to break up with our partner due to our activity on Facebook. Where am I going with this?
Very simple. It is a natural place for us to use the mobile screen whenever we can. In the toilet, on the train, in the gym or in front of the TV. But we can only amplify messages if people are looking at two messages at the same time. Outdoor isn’t there yet with NFT (Near Field Technology) but I believe it will be the next device to be connected. TV already is.
And that is why we do it. That is why we make the assumption and the connection, because when the TV is on, we can address the same audience on a mobile screen. I think that is exciting. And whilst I would say that, 2014 is about the second screen and how to best use the amplification across multiple devices on different connections – because in 2020, at the latest, with the majority of households owning connected TVs, the situation will change once again.