How to monetize the second screen evolution

You can’t watch a nationally televised event anymore without checking your Twitter and Facebook feeds at the same time. The second screen is becoming an integral part of all our viewing experiences, and advertisers are going nuts trying to figure out how to capitalize on it. Twitter came out with its TV targeting product, while Facebook added Trending Topics to give you the conversations your friends are having around..well trending topics. But there’s a lot more that brands can do outside of social media to have a secondary presence when people watch TV shows.

For the SXSW panel “How to monetize the Second Screen,” panelists included Greg Consiglio, president and COO of TV loyalty platform Viggle, and Jesse Redniss, chief strategy officer for social media content curator Mass Relevance.

“We all know people are watching 36 hours of TV a week, with some sort of mobile device in their hands,” said Consiglio. “Identifying a use case for why someone would pick up an app to engage with TV has been the biggest challenge.”

Over 150 second screen apps being used today, more of them on iOS (52%) than Android (30%). These include apps for: social media conversations, secondary content, shopping/merchandise sale platforms and sports stats.

 “We’re moving to an era where it’s a unified screen experience, both laptop and mobile will become one, changing from a passive viewing experience to an active viewing experience” says Redniss.  “During the Oscars, I spent more time with my eyes glued to Hootsuite rather than the actual show, because that’s where the funny s*** was happening.”

COnsiglio said there was a huge new opportunity for advertisers because now for the first time, TV networks and advertisers can know who is watching their shows, and how they’re engaging with them

When it comes to monetizing however, companies have had different strategies, with varying degrees of success.

1.       Brands putting relevant content into TV experience that increases the overall interaction of that show. This includes Buzzfeed type lists, blog posts, infographics, and sponsoring behind-the-scenes content.

2.       There’s also an e-commerce angle, with shows like Sons of Anarchy selling a ton of merchandise through their companion apps. There’s also an opportunity for media within the shows. For example, Shazam is driving 10% of all global music sales, by helping viewers identify and buy songs from the shows they watch.

3.       And now there’s “Tune in marketing” In the past you might take a digital campaign and advertise on physical media, such as billboards, sides of buses, and TV ads.But now networks can use platforms that figure out consumer profiles based on their viewing behavior and target them with new shows they are likely to watch.

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