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The majority of British viewers have tried ‘dual screening’, with 86 per cent of smart device owners having used their phone, tablet or computer while watching TV, according to new research unveiled by media management company Red Bee Media.
However, broadcasters, platforms and content owners have not yet succeeded in maximising their relationships with viewers through these second screen devices; just 1 in 5 respondents have used a synchronous companion app, although 78 per cent of this group believe that smart devices are a better way to engage with their favourite TV shows as opposed to traditional methods such as red button or telephone call-ins.
Red Bee Media worked with digital media consultancy, Decipher, to poll more than 2,000 smart device owners across the UK on their viewing habits and attitudes towards dual screen activities.
Among the key findings:
Dual screening and TV – The rise of the second screen represents a significant opportunity for the broadcast industry to own viewers’ interactions with their content through synchronous companion apps that operate in conjunction with TV programmes:
Untapped potential – However, broadcasters and platforms have not yet found a way to consistently own viewers’ second screen activity and build engagement:
The second screen as a revenue generator – Dual screening also represents a potentially lucrative revenue stream for content owners and broadcasters:
Apple vs Android? – The research also found a disparity between the behaviour of Android and Apple users, suggesting that the broadcast industry should look to expand beyond iOS devices when implementing a dual screen strategy:
The ‘senior’ dual screener – Dual screening is not exclusively the domain of younger audiences; two thirds of over 55s have engaged in dual screen behaviour using a smart device to stay online while watching TV. This affords a potentially lucrative opportunity for broadcasters, platforms and content owners to commercialise this affluent older demographic:
According to Stella Medlicott, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Bee Media, there is no doubt that dual screening is here to stay. “The findings from our research indicate that consumers are already using their smart devices to engage with TV content and this new behaviour represents a fantastic opportunity for broadcasters, platforms and content owners to take their engagement with viewers beyond the primary TV screen and monetise it. The challenge for us, though, as an industry, is to understand how we can work together to devise a business model that works right across the value chain,” she admitted.
For Nigel Walley, MD of Decipher, the exciting thing is that the numbers are all going upwards. “The number of people who own a smart device is increasing; the number apps available which relate to TV is increasing; the number of TV programmes that explicitly promote some form of second screen is increasing. This all adds up to a growing consumer base who are engaging with TV through companion devices. The challenge for the industry is to capture and commercialise this activity! What our research showed is that there are different kinds of commercial opportunity depending on your position in the value chain. Exciting times,” he declared.