Two cents blog

Tuning into the second screen

by Gemma Boucher on 11 February 2014

One eye is on the TV and the other is on your smartphone. Sound familiar?

For many of us, the ‘second screen’ has become a fundamental part of our TV viewing habits, and for programme-makers, social media has had a profound impact on the success of their shows. For a new show, organic conversation online can quickly guarantee a legion of dedicated followers with the mainstream critics often being late to the game in recommending it as the next must-watch. Extended online content also guarantees the hardcore fans are hooked well beyond the closing credits.

When it comes to online platforms, Twitter has so far dominated the second screen conversations, with its acquisition of BlueFin Labs in August last year opening up a raft of advertising products and experiences for the micro-blogging service. But in the last few days, further details have surfaced on Facebook’s partnership with SecondSync, a UK TV data analytics company. The link-up will mean SecondSync can analyse real-time Facebook interactions to gather valuable data on public reactions to a particular programme or event.

So what does this mean for advertisers? It’s widely acknowledged that traditional TV audiences are becoming harder to measure as our viewing habits fragment across different platforms. For planners, the insights from these type of partnerships could be hugely significant. Not only could it offer a more valuable figure on engaged numbers watching TV, but also the types of demographics and behaviours of today’s TV audiences.

On the creative side, the rules of traditional TV advertising are constantly being rewritten. You only need to look at the Super Bowl where the advertising becomes as much of the event as the actual game. And social media engagement is undoubtedly a critical component for those ‘viral’ hits. With the right idea, there’s an opportunity to create truly integrated campaigns that seamlessly bridge the gap between TV and digital. Even better, these campaigns can be underpinned by real data and audience insights based on actual conversations.

Tune in or miss out.

Some great ‘second screen’ examples:

Gemma Boucher is an Account Director at BCM

- Paul on February 13

Great post Gemm. The second screen just opens up so many opportunities for marketers. The notion of 'Digital Liberation' is alive and well....and incredibly exciting for us.

- Jo Stone on February 12

Great post Gemma. Agree 100% with you Nick. Isn't it interesting how social media now allows real time market research. If the networks are on on it (particularly for reality content), they have a priceless opportunity to allow viewer sentiment to shape the content. And that interactivity can only be good for advertisers.

- Nick Allen on February 11

Gemma, there's been a load of acquiring going in in the second screen space. In the stand alone apps Getglue became TV tag recently. Buckwheat they were Getglue in 2012, the CEO told me they got as much data in one episode of Glee as Nielsen TV boxes got in a week! There's so much space here for creativity and mining insights that could create awesome shows. Imagine if episodes got rewritten by tweets and sentiment...

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