Rise of the Second Screen

22 Oct,2018


By A Correspondent


One of the key trends seen in 2017 and 2018 has been the increased use of second screen interactivity by broadcasters as a means to engage more with their television audiences.


Leading consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) has published a report that delves deeper into this phenomenon, and provides case studies of how broadcasters and brands are using the 2nd screen along with television to enable a richer and more engaging customer experience.


According to the report, 30 percent of the time spent on the mobile device is on entertainment. Its a natural extension that television uses the second screen, be it mobile, tablet or laptop, to provide its audiences the ability to interact more with television content, stories and celebrities.


As broadcasters compete for advertising with new media companies who can provide millions of profiled audiences, interactivity helps broadcasters with generating viewer data, understanding consumption patterns and most importantly, increasing time spent on television, notes the report.


Here’s more from the EY report. First the case studies and then looking at what makes it work and the future of the Second Screen:


KBC Play-Along

Jio along with SET developed a play-along game for the ninth season of KBC. The idea of the app was to engage viewers so they could not only watch the show but also play along and answer the questions shown on TV, testing their knowledge against the TV contestant and scoring points.


Hotstar Watch’N Play

IPL 2018 was the 11th season of the highly popular T20 cricket league. This season Star decided to simulcast IPL on TV and Hotstar and introduce an interactive play-along app on Hotstar. 202 million viewers watched the matches on Hotstar.


Jio Cricket Play-Along

Jio decided to have a play along game for live cricket matches of IPL 11 broadcast on TV. While some played to win prizes, others played for the sheer excitement that came along.


Colors Rising Star

Colors Rising Star is a show adapted from the international format “Rising Star” and ran its second season in 2018. It was an engaging experience for viewers as they were able to see the results of their votes on a real-time basis.


Sony Indian Idol

In its tenth season, Indian idol has taken fan engagement to the next level with the Indian Idol Sing Along experience. SET has enabled millions of users to not only vote for their favourite Indian idol contestants, but also to sing along with them, in partnership with Smule. The best ‘Sing-Along’ performance of the week is featured on the show, giving the users their moment of fame on national television.


So why does interactivity work? Interactivity enables broadcasters to further fulfil their core objectives of providing escapism, knowledge and social acceptance to their audiences.


Social Acceptance: Second screen engagement can be used as a tool for social communication, by allowing users to share their scores, opinions, leaderboard, level-ups.


Lean Forward: With reality shows only selecting a handful of contestants to play on each show, the second screen offers viewers the experience of participating on the show from the comfort of their homes.


Immersive Experience: The TV audience’s expeirence is enhanced, they are playing the game/ performing alongside their favourite contestants and in front of the show host or judges. This is a far more intimate form of escapism.


Future of interactivity: Second screen interactivity will not only help broadcasters understand their viewers better through the additional data that could be collected, but also help keep viewers more engaged helping drive the ratings for shows. We see broadcasters and other content owners partnering with tech/ telco companies to create some ‘never seen before’ experience for the viewers. If used wisely, second screen has the power to create its very own loyal viewers who can continue to engage even after the end of the show. It is no longer a just cost element but it has the potential to generate revenue and cut marketing costs as can be seen in the proactive engagement platform diagram alongside, which can help brands connect directly with the TV audiences. Second screen interactivity combined with an effective loyalty program will have the potential to reap never before seen benefits. The second screen revolution has begun and results are there to be seen. Broadcasters have benefited, platform operators have benefitted and advertisers have benefited, too. But the viewers are the real winners. Interactivity to become more prevalent not just across game shows and sports but across genres such as music, fiction and film.



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