Long Live Live Television: The Rise of Second Screening
On demand TV has revolutionised the way we watch our favourite programmes, giving people the freedom of convenience. However, a recent study from Carat tells us that 35% of people now actively plan their evenings around live broadcasts, an increase of 5 million from 2009. For example this season of the Great British Bake Off saw an increase of 170% on tweets versus last year highlighting that this is a trend that is very clearly becoming part of our lives.
The largest factor for this is the rise of second screening, with 57% of television viewers now engaging with a device whilst watching television. GlobalWebIndex reports that 90% of tablets owners have second screened whilst watching television, but mobile still rules as the top device with 56% of all second screen activity coming from mobiles.
But what urges people to connect with others whilst watching television? With so many discussing shows as they air we are left with a choice: watch live or boycott social media to avoid spoilers. Although some can’t resist the urge to share their quick-witted comments, many are utilising the platforms to make television a more social activity. The infographic below, from Pulsar, highlights how Twitter leads the live conversation, but how Tumblr is still huge for the discussion after airing.
More brands are looking to utilise second screening to engage their audiences now around TV shows. Relevance is the largest obstacle they face - it’s imperative for brands to identify the right and wrong time to tweet about a subject, otherwise they just seem desperate for attention. Taking examples from this year’s Great British Bake Off final, Yorkshire Tea have worked with the show perfectly here, whilst Surrey Police might be trying a bit too hard.
Television networks have picked up on the trend and are taking advantage, utilising social media to promote and enhance people’s experience trying to keep people more engaged with the show. MTV’s Teen Wolf utilised hashtags within the show, displaying them on the screen at key moments to encourage discussion which has proved popular.
TVCs were once the leading method for advertising but are they being left behind as technology evolves? Realistically they need to catch up, but the largest obstacle currently preventing this is process. As technology advances it’s vital it is involved in the creative process and the two must work hand in hand to produce the best results possible. What can start small with live-tweeting could develop into living digital banners, to constantly changing adverts, tailored to individual viewers. Could the second screen could be the birth of living campaigns?