Earlier this year, mediatvcom has published a white paper “Decrypting the Second Screen Market” that analyses the segmentation of the second screen application market. As a follow up of our article "What happened on the second screen market in January", this one will be focused on the two segments that have been the most dynamic on the second screen market : social TV applications and TV show applications.
Broadcasters have been releasing many second screen applications since the beginning of 2013. More specifically, companion applications are now launched worldwide (and not uniquely in the US).
While second screen applications were mostly available in the US, more and more initiatives are starting in Europe. On April the 12th, Pro TV has launched the first second screen application in Romania “Romanians have talent”. Fox has also released 24kitchen, a companion application with an interactive shopping list, available in the Netherlands and Portugal, and will be launched shortly in markets including Turkey, Bulgaria and Finland. While a second screen experience already exists in the US for the show Game of thrones (HBO), Canal Plus Spain launched its own companion application for this show in Spain. These are only examples of quite a long list.
Regarding the latest application releases and features, a few notable applications have caught our attention especially on the sport live events. Channel 4 Horse Tracker (April 2013) has released an application allowing to access live race information synchronized with the race on the first screen, including the position of horses, their speed, their distance to one another and to the end of the race. The Canal Rugby App (May 2013) allows end-users to have access to a range of different camera positions as rugby matches are broadcasted live on Canal Plus. Users will also access to additional content (warms up, behind the scene actions, interviews…). While people are watching more catch-up / replay content, these kind of applications makes watching live content a unique experience.
Social TV applications are not especially expanding but existing applications are offering more and more features and are growing in popularity (see figures here for Viggle and Zeebox).
Getting data from the second screen to feed in the first screen has often being spoken of but has rarely been implemented. Zeebox has partnered with Vizrt to allow user generated content from Zeebox being fed into the live stream. Votes, polls, audience metrics and any real time information from Zeebox will be fed into the broadcast stream for participating shows.
As we concluded in our second screen white paper, content is king and having premium second screen content linked to a show is a key feature for social TV applications to succeed. Since the beginning of 2013, social TV applications (only in the US for the moment) have made deals with broadcasters and rights owners. Beginning of May for example, Viggle has partnered with the NBA to provide rewards and discounts to fans watching the 2013 NBA playoffs and the finals.
Finally, and this may not be a big surprise, one of the biggest challenges for any second screen application actor remains monetization.
According to a research led by second screen society, the primary sources of revenue in the model are advertising and m-commerce.
Advertising will bring even more revenues if it is interactive advertising with a cost-per-click approach. End of 2012, never.no has launched a social TV adverstising platform which has been used to promote one of Intel products. Users watched the first lntel ad on live TV and they were proposed to post a Christmas message through the second screen application. All messages were posted online but only some of them were selected and displayed on a follow-up advertisement on the first screen, leading people to continue watching ads to see if their message had been selected.
As for m-commerce, a few initiatives had been seen within broadcaster second screen applications (Sons of anarchy for example) or with broadcasters partnering with social TV applications (Fox partnering with Viggle, Dijit Media, NextGuide and ConnecTV to for its show New Girl). Recently, some applications dedicated to m-commerce only were launched. Get This, allows users to shop in their favorite TV shows (provided a deal has been signed with content owners) in three ways : Original, for items seen in the show, Stylist, for goods inspired by the original items, and Affordable.
No matter the chosen methods, building a business model which works will be key to the success of new and existing second screen applications.