Aug 5, 2013

There's Always A Second Screen

Piggybacking off the last post about watching on the best screen available: there's a corollary to that: unless it's a show you are absolutely engrossed with, there's always a second screen. Or, to be more accurate, a secondary screen.

If you're watching a show on your tablet, and a text message comes in, you're reading it on your phone.  Can't think of the name of the actress and want to IMdB her? You could stop the movie on your iPad, switch over to Safari and go online. Or you could grab your laptop and do it there.

Before portable media, we used physical media as our secondary screens: telephones and newspapers and magazines. Today, we talk/text/read on a device. Only that device also serves as a TV screen. Which is why we need a secondary device, one that can handle all the distracted media consumption we're doing while the first device is busy playing video.

Here's where it gets confusing: a lot of the time, we're only going use that secondary screen to do all the non-TV related stuff: check Facebook, read email, look at pictures. Sometimes we may use it to check something we saw on the television. And sometimes we'll use it as a legitimate companion device to what we're watching on television. The question is, while we, in the industry may see a difference, does the consumer see it that way too, or is it all just "on my phone" to them?

Time will tell.

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