Second screen

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A second screen involves the use of a computing device (commonly a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet) to provide an enhanced viewing experience for content on another device, such as a television. In particular, the term commonly refers to the use of such devices to provide interactive features during broadcast content, such as a television program, especially social media postings on social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. This type of technology is designed to keep an audience engaged in whatever they are involved in.[1] The use of a second screen supports social television and generates an online conversation around the specific content.[2][3]


Several studies[4][5] show a clear tendency of the user to use a device while watching television. They also show a greater frequency of use of tablet or smartphone when watching television, and other studies distinguish a higher percentage of comments or posts on social networks, about the content that's being watched (Nielsen ratings).[6][7][8] Other studies show apparently new behaviors on the part of users when consuming content via multiple devices.[9][10] For instance, Hayat & Samuel-Azran (2017) have demonstrated the interplay between using devices while watching television, and online political discourse.

Beside the benefit of keeping the audience engaged in multiple ways (polling, chatting, background info about the contents being shown and its participants etc.) and generating revenue via advertising, second screen can also be very effective metering solution to get information about the audience. Being much more far reaching and very inexpensive, second screen may replace people meters in the future.[11]

One trend hampering the growth of second screen is that many shows are creating their own application for the second screen. It is just not practical to expect users to download dozens of applications, and switch between those on each channel change.[12]

Conference and business meetings organizers are now incorporating second screen as well to deepen audience engagement.[13] According to "2014 Trend Tracker",[14] the second screen phenomenon is a significant and growing trend. "Attendees are so glued to their devices, even while watching a live presentation (or at home, on television) that marketers are supplying them with a simultaneous engagement tool they can access on that device," says Robin Stapley, VP-design and creative at GES. Software tools allow conference session presenters to share slides and presentations in real-time, so attendees can follow-on with their device in-hand." Second screen technology at conferences transforms the attendees' personal devices into an integral part of the event experience, and turns conference attendees from passive listeners into active followers who engage with the speaker and other participants.


Many applications in the "second screen" are designed to give another form of interactivity to the user and another way to sell advertising content.[15] Second screening may also involve applications not formally connected to the primary entertainment. The Wikipedia entry for Elizabeth II was the third most-viewed of 2017, in part because of the historical drama The Crown.[16] Some examples include:

  • Transmission of the Master's Golf Tournament, application for the iPhone (rating information and publicity)[17]
  • TV programs broadcast live tweets and comment[18][19]
  • Synchronization of audiovisual content via web advertising[20]
  • Applications that extend the content information[21][22]
  • Shows that add on their websites, content devoted exclusively to the second screen[23]
  • Applications that synchronize the content being viewed to the portable device[24]
  • Video game console playing with extra data, such as a map or strategy data, that synchronize with the content being viewed to the portable device[25][26][27][28][29]
  • Watching one EPL game on live television and watching another EPL game that has an impact on the first one, on your mobile
  • TV discovery application with recommendation, EPG (live content), personalization.
  • Application that displays polling results and audience triggered animated emoticons (along with sender's name and location) in real time on TV screen instead of users' second screen.
  • Political and social commentary, such as that by Donald Trump.[30]
  • Voting functionality for audiences at home via the broadcaster app like the Rising Star show, powered by Screenz technology.

Sports broadcasting[edit]

Sports broadcasters, to stem the flight of the TV audience away from watching the main screen (new name for the television) to the second screen, are offering alternative content to the main program. The idea is to present content related to the main program, such as unseen moments, alternative information, soundtrack, and characters. Proposed new technologies allow the viewer to see different camera angles while watching the game.[31][32]

TV2 (Denmark), Denmark's largest commercial TV channel, synchronized its Second Screen service to live events of the Giro d'Italia 2012 bicycling from May 5 to May 27, 2012, whereby viewers on all internet devices could get rider stats, biographies, news, stage reviews, city info, weather info and the like. Viewers scanned a QR code on the TV broadcast to get connected, or typed in a short URL.[33]

In the US, HDNet Fights utilizes a second screen service to synchronize to live MMA broadcasts, where viewers on smartphones and tablets could get stats, vote on fights and rounds, chat, win prizes, and see how fellow second screen users voted to win fights.[34]

Digital sports fan engagement[edit]

The digital technology has widened the sports fan engagement with the help of second screen devices. Sports fans attention span has changed over the last few years and they are increasingly started multitasking on handheld devices (mobiles, tablets, laptops, etc.) when watching matches in stadiums or live on TV. The recent surge in smartphone penetration has opened the door to this dramatic shift in behavior. Social networks, sports clubs and sponsors are now more focused on second screen to engage fans deeply during games and events to stay connected and increase the fan loyalty. Using second screen engagement and combining the viewing experience with social interaction tools and techniques clearly focus on involvement instead of passive way of consumption. All the emotions and feelings of sports fan are now captured through second screen engagement for the better improvement of entertainments.[35]

Second screen engagement goes much further than these basic voting techniques and even way further than the ‘connected TV’ technology. Because it's not about buttons and technology, but it is about people and psychology.[36]


Primary Screen Second Screen
Ares Interactive Media iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux
Dreamcast VMU
Select Dish Network Receivers iOS and Android devices using Dish Anywhere Mobile App
iPad and devices running Adobe Flash using Disney Second Screen
GameCube Game Boy Advance using Nintendo GameCube–Game Boy Advance link cable
PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita using Remote Play
PlayStation 4 PlayStation Vita using Remote Play; iOS and Android devices using the PlayStation App[37]
Wii Nintendo DS
Wii U Wii U GamePad and Nintendo 3DS
Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices using Xbox SmartGlass
Xbox One Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices using Xbox SmartGlass[38] Windows 10 PCs using an Xbox App[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Encourage Participation With Second Screen Technology". Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  2. ^ Mukherjee, P. and Jansen, B. J. (2015) Correlation of Brand Mentions in Social Media and Web Searching Before and After Real Life Events: Phase Analysis of Social Media and Search Data for Super Bowl 2015 Commercials. International Workshop on Event Analytics Using Social Media Data, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM2015) Atlantic City, New Jersey. 14-17 Nov
  3. ^ "Tata Consultancy Services | Technology, Digital Solutions, Consulting". Archived from the original on 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  4. ^ Mukherjee, P., Wong, J.S., and Jansen, B. J. (2014) Patterns of Social Media Conversations Using Second Screens. The Sixth ASE International Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom 2014). Stanford, CA. 27–31 May
  5. ^ Giglietto, F. and Selva, D. (2013) Second Screen and Participation: A Content Analysis of a Full Season Dataset of Tweets, Social Science Research Network, p. 1-24.
  6. ^ "Newswire - In the U.S., Tablets are TV Buddies while eReaders Make Great Bedfellows - Nielsen". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Living With Digital: Consumer Insights into Entertainment Consumption" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "What Do TV-Social Media Multitaskers Talk About?". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  9. ^ Hayat, T; Samuel-Azran, T (2017). ""You too, Second Screeners?" Second Screeners' Echo Chambers During the 2016 US Elections Primaries". Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 61 (2): 291–308. doi:10.1080/08838151.2017.1309417. S2CID 148973729.
  10. ^ servicesmobiles (2012-08-31). "The New Multiscreen World By Google". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Nielsen Families Become 'Framilies,' Ratings Giant Begins Registering Mobile Devices in TV Households".
  12. ^ "5 Things Keeping Second Screen Apps from the Masses - Double Encore". 2013-04-16.
  13. ^ "White Papers". NiceMeeting. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Double The Glow: Will Second Screen Apps Change the Way We Watch TV?". GOOD Magazine. 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  16. ^ Yahr, Emily (2018-01-04). "Do you fall down a Wikipedia rabbit hole after each episode of 'The Crown'? You're not alone". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  17. ^ Augusta National, Inc. (30 March 2009). "The Masters Tournament". App Store. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  18. ^ Ediciones El País (2011-03-13). "Twitterrevolución". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  19. ^ Tweeting for TV | Twitter Developers
  20. ^ "Maximizing TV Advertising ROI". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  21. ^ Umami for iPad - Your TV Companion. Vimeo. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  22. ^ Fremantlemedia Ltd (19 August 2011). "The X Factor UK". App Store. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  23. ^ "2011 MTV Video Music Awards - Highlights, Winners, Performers and Photos from the 2011 MTV VMAs". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  24. ^ "The Miso Sync Experiment" (PDF). Dropbox. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  25. ^ E3 2012: Year of the second screen with Xbox Smart Glass and Wii U
  26. ^ Microsoft Introduces Second-Screen Feature, Xbox SmartGlass
  27. ^ Sean Buckley. "Sony announces PlayStation app for iOS and Android, will expand games to the second screen". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Sony Announces PlayStation 4, Second-Screen Experience PlayStation App for iOS". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  29. ^ "Xbox SmartGlass official as second-screen feature". SlashGear. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Donald Trump After Hours".
  31. ^ Alternative angles in Sports broadcast Archived 2012-04-04 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Second screen is future of interactive coverage". TVBEurope. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  33. ^ "Giro 2.0 – second screen experiences". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  34. ^ "Mobovivo Launches Social TV Platform to Utilize Second Screen". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  35. ^ "Winning the Second-Screen Competition: Digital Sports Fan Engagement". SportTechie. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Sports Fans and the Second Screen". Think with Google. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  37. ^ Buckley, Sean. "Sony announces PlayStation app for iOS and Android, will expand games to the second screen". Engadet. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  38. ^ Lawler, Richard. "Xbox One SmartGlass brings more control, content to companion devices". Engadet. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  39. ^ Orland, Kyle (January 21, 2015). "Windows 10 includes in-home game streaming from Xbox One". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 22, 2015.


Further reading[edit]

  • Revolutionizing your Television Experience with the Second Screen
    • Decrypting the Second Screen Market: a second screen white paper

    External links[edit]