Second screen, sometimes also referred to as “companion apps”, is a term that refers to a tablet or smartphone that allows a television viewer to interact with the content they are watching, such as TV shows, movies, music, or video games. Extra content is displayed on the second device and synchronized with the content being viewed on the television.
In the past decade the focus of interactive television has been on adding additional content and overlays to the television screen but these experiences largely fail because they clutter the viewing experience for all viewers. However use of the second screen while watching television is exploding.
- Nearly 40% of Super Bowl XLVII viewers used a second screen.
- The success of NBC’s The Voice has been largely attributed to strong social integration on the second screen.
- There is currently no app that has taken second screen mainstream, although Zeebox and GetGlue have the potential.
Second screen is the next huge social opportunity - within two years we will see the evolution of the Facebook of second screen. Why? Because we all love to talk about what we are watching/playing on television. The app that can nail this space by providing a social, second screen platform for all television viewing, could threaten the likes of Facebook and Twitter, never-mind further disrupt revenue models for TV/Cable.
You could make an argument that Facebook branch out their platform by building a second app, specifically for second screen social TV. They could get their pretty quickly by acquiring someone like GetGlue, and integrating their TV checkins and data with Facebook’s chat, likes and product pages. Consider that an MVP for Facebook Social TV. From there they could bring additional value by doing things like building Facebook profile timelines for TV show and movie characters, power live voting and of course offer a highly targeted ad opportunity for sponsors.