Here's Why Social Media Will Eat The 'Second Screen' Industry

BIISecond screen activities linked to social media are pretty popular

People love using their phones and checking social media as they watch TV. But that doesn’t mean that they want to watch program-related content on their devices.

Only 42% of U.S. adults have actually tried to watch designated “second screen” content on their phones, and only 13% said synchronised second screen content made TV viewing more enjoyable, according to a survey from the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association Of Television Program Executives.

These findings echo those in a a recent report from BI Intelligence, in which we take stock of how far the second screen industry has come, and what will define it in the future. We look at mobile-social behaviour and how it overlaps with the second screen trend, and reveal the data behind consumer shopping on mobile for products they see advertised on TV. Finally, we explain why social media is king on the second screen and why stand-alone second screen apps and show-focused apps probably won’t take off. This report is an update to our best-selling February 2013 report on the second screen.

Gain instant access to the report by signing up for a free trial of BI Intelligence >

Here are some highlights from our new report on the second screen trend:

  • In the first quarter of 2013, 46% of U.S. smartphone owners and 40% of tablet owners said they used their devices while watching TV on a daily basis. Nine months earlier, only 39% of smartphone owners had reported doing so.
  • But are these mobile activities actually related to what’s on TV? Some are. 50-three per cent of consumers with tablets or smartphones have engaged in mobile-based activity related to what they’re watching on TV, according to an early 2013 NPD survey.
  • The dominant social networks are making a push to tie themselves to TV. Twitter has an ambitious strategy for capitalising on second screen behaviour and tying it into the rest of its ad ecosystem, but it may be overstating tweets’ impact on TV ratings.
  • Buying products being advertised has become a surprisingly popular activity. 20 per cent of second screen audiences on tablets and 13% of those on smartphones reported doing so, according to Nielsen.
  • Show-themed and second screen apps that ask audiences to open an app during shows and sync to TV in order to deliver content tie-ins will not be the big winners — they’re asking too much of audiences.
  • The volume of TV-related social media comments in the U.S. surged 363% over the course of 2012.
  • A wave of consolidation will wash through the second screen ecosystem this year as big tech players wake up to its importance and its unique place bridging the digital-TV divide.
  • Broadly speaking, dedicated second screen apps that have built platforms around second screen activity seem to be trying different models in order to see what sticks. Overall, they’ve seen decent growth in audience size, but not dramatic growth. And lately it has looked flat.

The full report provides in-depth analysis and detailed data on these trends, including a dozen charts with underlying data sets that subscribers can download and use in spreadsheet format.

In full, the report:

For full access to this report along with dozens of in-depth mobile industry reports and a library of hundreds of downloadable charts and data, sign up for a two-week free trial of BI Intelligence.

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