Super Bowl, Grammy’s: When second screens become as important as the first

January and February is always an exciting time of the year with a flood of high profile events one after the other: The Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Super Bowl, Academy Awards and March Madness. There is a constant stream of content to indulge in on more than just our televisions.

More so than the last couple of years, these high profile live events are becoming more about ‘getting social’; sharing every single thought, reaction and emotion as the events unfold. Viewers are as invested, if not more, in what is happening on Twitter, Facebook and increasingly Instagram, as they are in watching the actual program on their TVs.

Viewers are increasingly using their tablets and mobiles as companion devices to augment their television viewing. Take the SuperBowl for instance. Viewers generated 24.1M posts, up from 13.7M in the previous year. During power outage, nearly 231,500 posts were generated per second, making it one of the most talked about moments during the game. The Grammys generated just over 14M tweets  (the equivalent of 67K per minute) during the broadcast.

Second screen though, is not just about social media engagement and sharing. Using the SuperBowl again, in addition to live streams and highly anticipated ads, viewers were able to interact with content while watching the game, choose from multiple camera angles, view professional sports photos in real-time or engage in built-in social interactions. The Grammys delivered a three-day webcast including red carpet and behind the stage access and the ability to view trending tweets, to second screen audiences, designed exclusively with the digital experience in mind.

Broadcasters are increasingly recognizing that viewers want to use their mobile devices to do more than just passively watch video and television. Recently, Nielsen estimated 60% of tablet and smartphone owners access sports content from their mobile phones every day.

Traditional TV as we know it, is quickly evolving. With the advent of multiscreen video and the new experiences now possible with second screen capabilities, television viewing is becoming infinitely richer, increasingly interactive and delivering deeper levels of engagement.

It brings us back to our predictions for 2013 and one of the most predominant trends seen at CES: live programming will continue to play a key role in driving mobile video proliferation and smart devices are quickly becoming the crux of connected entertainment.

If the first two months of 2013 have told us anything, it’s that connected entertainment and the interactive experience will continue to make big leaps.  Service providers and programmers who continue to push the envelope in multiscreen and second screen features will be rewarded with happy and engaged viewers.

Director of Marketing