US Audiences Aren't Watching Second-Screen TV Content

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APP-ATHY: Among U.S. consumers who claim they watch TV with a smartphone or tablet in hand, just 42% of them have actually tried using a designated second screen app while watching a live TV program, according to a new study from CEA/NAPTE whose results were shared at last week’s CES conference. Of those consumers, only 13% thought that the synchronised experience actually made their TV watching experience “much more enjoyable.” Most consumers (67%) called it “somewhat better.” The results seem a bit disappointing given that the second screen represents a new frontier for brands and advertisers to dish up relevant content to TV watchers. For now, they have yet to figure out how to deliver compelling second-screen experiences synched to live programming.

The answer for these second-screen apps may be to shift the focus away from in-program content and onto these apps’ marketing capabilities. The same survey found that more than half of the consumers who claimed they accessed synchronous second-screen content did so during the commercial breaks instead of during the live program. With a bit of audience details to help target viewers, these apps could deliver more relevant ads during commercial breaks that are related to TV programming.

Whatever the means, there is too large of an audience for brands and advertisers to not capitalise on the second-screen opportunity. Already almost 50% of U.S. smartphone and tablet owners report using their devices while watching TV, and half of those consumers use devices for activity related to the show they are watching. (Variety)

OVER-THE-TOP TV: The case against Aereo, the over-the-top Internet network TV streaming startup, will be taken to the Supreme Court after the court decided the major U.S. broadcasting stations had a right to challenge the legality of Aereo’s service. This case may determine the future of digital network streaming. (Variety)

MORE TV: What’s the deal with curved TVs? Along with ultra high-definition 4K technology, curved TVs are the new television hardware expected to make an actual consumer impact during 2014. Casey Johnston at ARS Technica casts doubt on whether the new TVs really represent a true improvement to the current TV market. (ARS Technica)

HYPER-TARGETED RESULTS: Consumers will soon see a hyper-personalised shopping experience, as technology blurs the lines between the Web and in-store channel. More bricks-and-mortar retail chains will begin investing in product awareness and product intelligence technology in order to create a new level of contextual intelligence about in-store shoppers. Brands can then provide shoppers with dynamic information about products and services to their mobile devices as they shop. (GigaOm)

APPLE’S SECRET GAMING WEAPON: iBeacon technology could be the next big wave to hit the mobile gaming industry, says a developer for gaming company The Tap Lab. iBeacon is poised to revolutionise the retail industry early on, but other applications will surface as well, and gaming appears to be a solid fit. (Re/code)

INTERNET OF THINGS DISASTER: In an op-ed article for ARS Technica, Peter Bright looks at how good a job large hardware manufacturers like Samsung and LG have done in the past with writing and updating software, which he finds they are generally bad at. Because of this, he issues a warning to those interested in the future of equipment connected to the Internet Of Things from these companies: “… The ‘Internet of things’ stands a really good chance of turning into the ‘Internet of unmaintained, insecure, and dangerously hackable things.‘” (ARS Technica)

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