What is changing in the television experience?

People are no more watching television in the same way they used to watch television five years ago. Today, most viewers are using their smart phones and tablets while watching television. These devices are called second screens, as viewers are using these devices as a companion while watching the primary screen or the first screen – Television. If the television content is not catching attention, viewers are quick to use their second screens. On one hand, this intrusion of smart devices into the drawing room is seen as a distraction from the TV experience, but on the other hand these smart devices can help enhance the media experience and engagement.

TV and second screens

The explosion of smart phones, tablets, social media such as YouTube and Twitter, second screen apps, video stream sites such as Netflix, and Hulu, and smart television sets is rapidly changing the way viewers experience television media.

  • 60% of the TV viewers look at their second screen devices during TV advertisements.
  • 40% of the TV viewers use smart devices daily while watching TV sets.
  • Twitter is recording 2.8 million tweets per day about TV shows.
  • More than 150 global brands such as Sony, Pepsi, and Toyota,have used ‘Shazam for TV‘ to engage with viewers.

Major launches and acquisitions in the last two years

Some of the major launches and acquisitions are:

  • Facebook enters the TV game with video advertisements. Facebook is also providing advertisers crucial data on what a user is doing on Facebook while he/she is watching the show.
  • Shazam has launched ‘Shazam for TV’, and the latest launch is ‘Auto Shazam’. This new feature listens to the media around the viewer and automatically tags the TV shows and music.
  • Shazam launched a new rating called Shazam Engagement Rate. Shazam tied up with Nielsen to use Nielsen’s GRP data for this rating. Shazam Engagement Rate = Tag Volume/GRP (for a particular show).
  • Twitter acquired Bluefin Labs and Trenddr in 2013. Twitter also partnered with Nielsen and launched the Nielsen Twitter Ratings. Twitter on TV also entered new markets in 2013 including India..
  • Dijit acquired Miso. TV Guide acquired Fav.tv, iTV acquired GetGlue. Viggle bought the facebook publisher WetPaint.
  • Nielsen acquires Arbitron and gains stronghold on radio market and on the audio watermarking technology.
  • Nielsen is going to add mobile and tablet viewing to its traditional TV ratings. Nielsen has redefined its TV household definition to include TV households that use set-top boxes and use streaming services such as NetFlix.

Smart TV platform

Smart TVs (entertainment delivered from the internet) such as Google TV, Samsung Smart TV, and technologies such as Samba TV, Android TV box are indicative of the changes in the next few years. Google has always been very curious to get into the living room. Google seems to be getting ready to launch ‘Nexus IV’, an android set top box in 2014. Apple too seems to be eyeing big on the television space, and there are rumors that Apple is going to foray into television in a big way in 2014.

Android TV Box 2

New solutions to build content for second screens and smart tv platforms are being established. Samba TV is a TV operating system provider that detects what the viewer is watching on the TV set, and syncs with the viewers registered mobile to capture viewership data. Another company called AdTonik measures what commercials are being watched on television, and then it serves related brand content to those users on second screen apps they use.

Changing trend of the Check-in apps

There are hundreds of apps that provide viewers a platform for chatting, check-in, recommendations, program information, games, etc. Some of them are: IntoNow, Miso/Quipps, GetGlue and more. Research shows that out of all the tasks that users do on second screens, they are least likely to check-in to earn badges or points. Generally, users tend to check-in to know more information about the program. Check-in apps are showing trends of shifting from an intrusive ‘check-in’ style feature to a passive non-intrusive ‘check-in’ feature.

  • GetGlue changed from a check-in app to a mobile entertainment app.
  • Shazam launches auto-tagging feature ‘Auto Shazam’
  • FourSquare also launches auto check-in feature to let users check-in seamlessly

Though television remains the dominant form of entertainment in the living room, with so many changes happening in the sphere of television entertainment, the television content consumption, creation, and measurement is changing fast under our feet. Industry analysts predict that the traditional TV experience will undergo significant changes in the next 5 years. Some of the consumers might possibly change their media behavior such that TV might actually become their second screen.


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