Redefining The Second Screen

Second screen” TV viewing is a term we’re hearing a lot about these days. And Interapt is excited to be helping define the second screen concept for tablet and mobile phone users.

Second screen is where you use a tablet or smartphone while you’re watching TV. The device is then usually used to interact with whatever you’re watching. You could be using an app like the one we developed for WKRN in Nashville, TN, finding more information about stories during news broadcasts, or participating in surveys and polls. If you’ve ever watched a DVD’s extras, like bloopers, commentary, deleted scenes, and interviews, you already know what extra content can look like. Only now it’s on a different device.

Our apps enable communities to provide feedback and have their opinions heard. We don’t want the second screen technology disrupting a broadcast; rather, we want it complementing the broadcast. An example of the type of work we can do would be if we were to gamify the watching of a Tide commercial, by inserting a 10-second game, with the winners getting a free sample of Tide. This is the type of innovation that may encourage people to actually watch commercials and stay in their seats during commercial breaks.

Interapt builds systems like this for live TV, but those who want to see archived viewer comments—such as comments on a 5 p.m. newscast later in the evening–can certainly do so online.

A great example of smart use of second screen technology is HBOGo. For example, while viewers are watching a program like Game of Thrones, viewers can unlock maps or read secondary, and ancillary character information while the program is live. They also have the option of getting this information offline in between shows to fuel fan interest for the live show and social media discussions in between airings.

With second screen apps, the possibilities are endless whether you’re a nationally televised cable TV series, or an advertiser in a local market. We believe the future holds so much promise — TV is about to get even more entertaining and rewarding for viewers, provide greater revenues for stations and offer greater advantages for advertisers.

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