People like to talk about event TV programmes. Smart Phones and Tablets have enabled them to do this whilst they are watching them. X Factor flooding Twitter at showtimes being the most potent example of this and is depicted here in all its glorious horror. In fact a study of 13 to 65-year-olds earlier this year found 57% of us “often or almost always” send emails or browse social networks while watching TV. Device proliferation has made us multi taskers and unable to commit to any one media source at a time. (Some good data on this in an ofcom study conducted last year)
These conversations organically grew out of the ease of connectivity afforded by social platforms, but were still happening in disparity of the shows owned property, albeit linked by terms, keywords and tags that could be used to aggregate.
What we are now starting to see the birth of the second screen as a channel in its own right and publishers, broadcasters and tech companies making a play to own it and act as the point of aggregation that will run in synchronous with what we see on TV.
Zeebox launched in the UK last week and is the brainchild of Anthony Rose, ex CTO of YouView (which incidently, will probably never see the light of day), it purports to be the new way to watch TV and is hybrid of an EPG, Twitter feeds and Wikipedia articles.
They “spider live TV, extract content and bring users together”, essentially taking all the disparate conversations and pulling them together in a nice well designed interface and in real time.
Yahoo! amidst all the chaos are aiming to bring the behaviours together across their Into Now platform, which uses acoustic fingerprinting technology (similar to Shazam) to recognise audio from the TV and match it to database of over 140m minutes of previously aired shows.
Both of these offerings showcase a whole new world of synchronicity between devices and are a step toward true platform agnostic content solutions and TV viewing becoming a truly social experience.Undoubtedly we will start seeing users gradually flock towards these platforms as they provide a simpler more and design rich experience that is much more closely tied to programming than a Twitter or Facebook.
I like where it could all go and I think the game really changes when the second screen can start to influence the first, and user participation starts to shape on air content, like for instance Channel 4’s Million Pound Drop. but do so on a personal level. The best vision I have seen thus far is a concept platform created SYZYGY called GOAB: