Do we always need second screen and social tv?

If you work in television and advertising industry you surely know that “second screen” and “social tv” are two of the hottest trends. On internet it seems that any tv show now can’t live without a second screen or a social tv strategies because they allow interactions and viewers engagement and more than everything a new shape of advertising (=monetization).

I agree that a deeper involvement of the audience increases branding and entertainment, but if you attach second screen contents to existing shows just to have them as contents extension it may be less than effective.

The question is “Does every screen content need second screen and social tv?”. The answer is no. I try to explain my assertion, because when we talk about social tv through social media it is likely that (some) viewers  may comment via Twitter and Facebook but when we come to second screen not every screen content can be suitable for it unless you don’t find a real creative way to engage the audience.

As an example we take drama shows. Except perhaps for The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Scandal,  second screen experience for dramas should really be compelling to engage the viewers.

Here is why:

  • Drama focus viewer attention
  • Dramas rarely have a very young audience (older people are not tech addicted as the young ones  – 60% of The Good Wife viewers in US are over 55)
  • Procedural dramas have not very often topics that allow eye catching second screen contents

It is not enough to fill the second screen with actor bios or characters descritpion because Google allows to get better infos and because once you read the contents there is no reason to go back to them.

Said that,  today a second screen and social tv strategy must be developed at the same time of screen content  development, because in this way you can integrate different media at their best building a consistent storytelling. This is the only way to create a social multi-screen experience able to engage the viewership.

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