#TOKtvDigest: The real meaning of Second Screen and Social TV

Written on 14 July 2013
By: Emanuela Zaccone

As we wrote several times, one of the biggest issue with second screen is monetization.

According to Chuck Parker (from the 2nd Screen Society), there is a huge advertising potential for all of those apps and platforms which have been able to engage and acquire new users.
For example, the March Madness app “pushed 49 million live streams out (vs. 18 million the year prior) and 14 million hours of live video during the 3-week event. 69% of fans used the mobile app while watching the game and 26% of them watched some of the games live on their mobile app. During the weekends, mobile viewing exceeded PC-based viewing. Even if you assume only 1/3 of those streams went through their second screen app at a nominal CPM rate for sports, they generated sizable millions in second screen revenue from that event”.

This kind of considerations are valid also outside US, since the Social TV and second screen market is going to increase its importance worldwide. This Guardian’s article from TV App Market’s Richard Kastelein, for example, quotes some important case studies along with one of the most interesting news around European Social TV environment: Monterosa, one of the first company working in Social TV, won a BAFTA for second screen version of Million Pound Drop.

The point is: how to engage people? Hashtags, gamification and the transformation of the watching experience in a virtual living room represent the three main possibilities to drive viewers engagement.
Truth is that not all the shows are made to be Social and not all the Social Media engagement strategies are necessary to build a marketing campaign around a TV program, as stated by CMO of Warner Bros. Television Group, Lisa Gregorian.

And this is right. Mainly because second screen is not necessarily Social TV.
Some months ago, Alan Wolk from KIT Digital pointed out this difference in a very clear way and on this blog we wrote about how “second screen” is a stronger and more used word then “social TV”. Is it just a buzzword? I don’t think so and I am not alone, since the debate was recently enriched by another relevant contribute from Chad Elkins.
On The 2nd Screen website, he claims that “Social marketing of TV is not Social TV, nor is every TV promotion on a smart phone or tablet a Second Screen experience”.
In his opinion (and so is mine) all the difference lies in different viewers behaviors and ways to interact with TV programs and their related contents or gamification strategies.
Alan Wolk recently wrote that there are 4s defining the second screen: Social, stories, stats and shopping.
Watching how you reacted to our brand new Social Photo feature and seeing how much you use our stats on TOK Baseball we can testify that part of the watching experience is really enriched by this kind of experiences.


There is no lack of terms then when talking about Social TV and /or second screen. There is maybe a lack of standardization. People like Ashwin Navin from Flingo, for example, think that Audio Content Recognition will be a game changer and lead the standardization.
This moves the question from marketing and interaction experiences to technology development.

In this sense TOK Baseball is a mix of both new technology development – thanks to our voice sync feature – and Social interactions.
As Justin Sanders wrote on Promax DBA, “the primary reason, after all, to attend a ballgame at the stadium (as opposed to say, watching it at home with a beer that doesn’t cost $12) is for the social experience.
To feel the energy of the crowd, to yell at the umpire with your fellow fans, to root and holler and talk stats with a community of like-minded fans.
TOK Baseball users can do all that, from their living room couch”.

Actually we discovered that our users can do more than relaxing when at home. They can be also connected through the sport experience even when far from home.
This year indeed we had our best 4th of July ever when we discovered a TOK Baseball usage peak from Afghanistan. We understood that soldiers over there where using our app to recreate that traditional, familiar watching experience which is part of Independence Day celebration.

Marketing potential is huge and so is technology development, but - in the end - experience and behavior count. This is what is going to make apps, platforms or devices survive.

Talk to the fans! Contact us

Keep yourself posted with our newsletter

Something went wrong. Please double check your email address.
Your request was succesfully submitted. Please check your mailbox.