Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ETIA: Enjoying content with an Internet second screen

Al Kovalick, Founder of Media Systems Consulting, kicked off this afternoon's session on "second screen" viewing of Internet content with an overview of the many possible meanings of second screen -- ranging from smartphone to smartwatch -- and the wide variety of possible uses.

Colin Dixon, Founder of nScreenMedia, led off the panel with the amazing stat that 278 million second screen TV apps had been downloaded in the US by the end of 2012 -- over three times as many as the total number of households in the US with TVs and broadband. An amazing 11% were the Shazam app, behind the overall leader of Netflix with 12%. Overall, apps related to the TV content drove the market. Apps for social TV check-in sites were way down and a very small part of the market -- usage was even worse.

Going beyond applications, Colin explained his vision of second screens moving from being a replacement TV and enhancing TV to really changing the TV experience itself, by making it a truly personal experience. His examples harkened back to yesterday's session on user-contributed content and interactive media experiences.

Mobovivo is augmenting 21 hours per week of TV, per CEO Doersken
Photo by David Cardinal
Trevor Doersken, CEO of Mobovivo, explained that second screens can represent an additional ad revenue opportunity for content providers, since they can be a powerful amplifier for the primary experience on the main screen. He and Mobovivo aim to harness this potential and turn what has been a threat for "big screen" content providers into an opportunity.

Echo is taking advantage of second screen opportunities by allowing companies to create second screen experiences with their toolkit, explained Khris Loux, CEO and co-Founder of Echo. A key element of the winning strategies in his mind is taking control of the user interaction -- use social networks like Twitter, but don't become so dependent on them so you need to revenue share.

Hardie Tankersley, Fox Broadcasting, gave some more examples of second screen experiences. In his experience the hardest part of getting people to use second screen experiences is explaining it to them. Creating the FoxNow app has given Fox a unified platform for augmented experiences across all of its shows. He identified the additional issue of the second screen taking away attention from the main screen, as well as the opportunity to syndicate second screen content into other second screen apps.

The panel agreed that there is room for some standardization of at least the format of second screen content, and perhaps even for a platform for presenting it, but also that the follow-on issues including monetization would create a substantial hurdle for those efforts. -- David Cardinal

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