Second-Screen Tech Changes the TV Landscape - latest tech tips

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Second-Screen Tech Changes the TV Landscape

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Smartphones and tablets enable networks to make more advertising revenue by capitalizing on the three to five hours the average American spends in front of the tube every day. With one-third of U.S. households having some sort of tablet, according to a survey by the Online Publishers Association, there's plenty of screen space for advertisers to take advantage of, too.

For example, Fox is working with Shazam to bring exclusive content to your second screen in real time. Shazam is the app that identifies songs currently playing, but it can also recognize TV shows. If you enable auto-tagging within Shazam, it continues to "listen" and display music and IMDB and
Wikipedia content relevant to what's on TV. This is more valuable to viewers than a Twitter stream, which only shows what others are saying about the show, because you can find more information about the show and the actors or even download music that the show uses.

Lack of Direction Frustrates Consumers

Just one short year ago, the CEO of second-screen app Miso, Somrat Niyogi, reflected the consumers' frustration with having to download an app for each show. At the time, more than 100 different second-screen apps were available, but most of them focused on individual shows or networks, rather than covering content across the board. Fox might still be throwing ads in every direction, but the company is at least making it easier for viewers to get extra content with as little effort as possible. At the time, Niyogi wondered who would win the war and become the Facebook of the second screen. Would it be the networks, or the third parties?

The problem with network apps is you'll still need one for every channel you watch. Even if those apps cover all of your favorite shows, that leaves a lot of room for variance in user experience. Even though tablets such as the iPad offer gigabytes of space, users shouldn't have to download dozens of apps. By syndicating content, Fox is paving the way for other networks to play nicely and provide content to platforms mobile users already use.

One App to Rule Them All?

It's a smart move on Fox's part, and it's not surprising this network is in the lead. Fox was among the first companies to syndicate content to Hulu. Traditional broadcasting companies were wary about the impact of digital viewing, but plenty of consumers still sign up for satellite TV services through and similar companies. If there's one thing we can learn from the current state of TV viewership, it's that there isn't one solution. Some people watch on their tablets, others glue themselves to the couch at 7 p.m. every weeknight, and around one-third of the population wants additional content at the tips of their fingers, according to the finding by to the Online Publishers Association.

If networks continue to dominate the second-screen market, they'll need to let go of the idea of traditional exclusivity and work with third-parties like Fox is doing. Companies such as Miso, GetGlue and Shazam could see a boost when viewers see these apps have official content from networks, and collaboration could reduce the number of apps users would have to download to get all that content for their favorite shows and movies.

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