Second Screen Offers New Opportunities

A new study commissioned jointly by the National Association of Television Program Executives, whose annual U.S. market and conference is taking place this week, and the Consumer Electronics Association, reported that among second-screen users, 79 percent access a second device while watching TV programming.

The study compared asynchronous second-screen use (accessing content outside of air time) to synchronous use (accessing content while a show is airing) and found that only 42 percent of second-screen users synchronize their content experience to live TV, and more than half of those do so during commercials. Additionally, synchronized content doesn’t get much positive feedback–only 13 percent of respondents say it makes their program viewing experience “much more enjoyable.” Currently, synchronized content is most often used for voting during reality shows and participating in contests to win prizes.

On the flip side, the high use of asynchronous program content that users access before or after a show or between episodes or seasons points to “a strong opportunity for program brands to increase loyalty and keep viewers engaged and watching even when shows are not on the air.” 

The study also found that Millennials (ages 13 to 34) are the key targets for second-screen content, as they are among the heaviest consumers of both synchronous and asynchronous program content. Female Millennials are particularly avid second-screeners. Parents of children under 18 are also key potential consumers given their level of enjoyment of second-screen content and heavy device ownership and usage.

"The findings in this study present new information, challenges and significant opportunities for content producers and advertisers,” says Rod Perth, president and chief executive officer, NATPE. “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."

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