Second Screen Conference Announced — Who’s Going?

The Second Screen Summit has just been announced and you can bet that it’s going to be well attended.

This is a hot area of home entertainment. It depends on who you ask, but estimates of how many viewers access their mobile devices when watching TV vary from 70 to 86%.  Yet whichever estimate you choose, this still amounts to a significant portion of the viewing public. When you consider that nearly one third of Americans own smartphones, this is a group which networks, producers and content owners would be foolish to overlook. It’s a huge pool of fans!

My own experience certainly confirms this. When I’m watching TV (or streaming from one of several of my favorite sites), I’ve got my iPad on hand to check IMDB, do a little Facebook posting (if I haven’t thought far enough ahead to DVR my favorite show), or scan through Flipbook. I’ve even toyed with the Grey’s Anatomy app which has a very interesting synchronizing feature which keeps new questions, trivia and more coming.

Katherine Boehret dives into three of the top apps in this review and from what she reports, there’s some strong contenders including Shazam, IntoNow and Showtime Social. (Looks like I’ve got some downloading and TV watching on my schedule.) Yet these second screen apps which interact with the program while it’s broadcast live, which reduces their utility, especially in an age when many (most?) people time shift their TV watching.

I think there’s also a large, unidentified and unexploited niche for apps out there, waiting to be discovered, which help broaden and deepen the fan experience. How? I know I’ve been interested in how networks and producers can expand ecommerce opportunities: Want to buy that outfit your favorite star is wearing or a show T-shirt? You should be able to do it right from your phone or tablet. That one seems like a slam dunk.

I’m sure that these opportunities, both realized and still to be, will be covered at length during the S3. We’re looking forward to being part of the discussion. MESA puts on a pretty good event (kudos to Guy Finley and everybody at MESA), so let us know if you’ll be there.