Understand the persona in second-screen use, Sharman urges

Dec 02, 2012 at 06:49 pm by Staff

Quality, engagement and an understanding of the ‘second screen’ opportunity are essential to success in interactive broadcasting.

Steve Sharman, chief technology officer of UK-headquartered consultancy MediaSmiths, says new tablet and smartphone products are prompting broadcasters to shift the way content is delivered and produced.

But he says broadcasters face challenges with the new interactive trend in TV content consumption.

“First and foremost, quality control is imperative,” he says. “Tablets and mobile devices are entirely different platforms and require content optimised for each of them.”

Sharman says pushing content to a variety of devices can improve the popularity of a TV programme, but bad quality content can seriously tarnish a brand image. “The right media asset management and content workflow platform will provide the foundation for broadcasters to ensure the right content is delivered to each device at the optimum quality.”

He says many broadcasters still see mobile simply as a new channel for the same content, failing to see that a second (or third) screen can extend the viewing experience and engagement of viewers.

“They need to understand that consumers will watch programmes on their television screen while at the same time exploring additional content, discussing and reacting via social networks, and even taking the opportunity to buy related items such as DVDs and other merchandise on their Android, iPad or laptop, for example.”

And he says broadcasters must find better ways to properly understand and exploit their consumers' viewing patterns.

“Engaging viewers through tablet and mobile devices offers them the advantage of knowing who their customers are in greater detail,” he says.

But most broadcasters have no ‘single customer view – seeing the TV viewer, (mobile phone) voter, and PC/laptop or tablet-based) browser as separate individuals, “or at best one individuals with quite differing tastes!”

“If broadcasters understood that the same person engaged in different ways depending upon content and ‘persona’ – such as the laptop sports news addict and the TV rom-com watcher – they could use this data to offer advertisers increasingly targeted opportunities instead of defining a viewer by the device they access content on.”

Sharman says having a single customer view can also create new or increased revenue opportunities as brands focus their marketing budgets on reaching the correct people with their messages. “Now more then ever, it is essential to reach the right person with the right message at the right time,” he says.

“The first challenge is the only one that broadcasters have really started to get a grip on. Many have cottoned on to the potential gold mine that is the 'second screen' but they still have some way to go in understand how to capitalise on it.

“Broadcasters have the opportunity to use these additional screens to not only engage consumers in a different way, but also reap the rewards of increased insight and intelligence on their viewers.”


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