In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of the second screen, where people not only watch television, but use one of their four mobile devices to connect with complementary apps and websites to enhance their viewing experience. One of the leaders in this arena is DIRECTV, which piloted one of the first second-screen apps available. Now, there are all kinds of second-screen apps available to accompany certain shows and overall network programming.
Second screen habits
So how exactly are people using their second screens to enhance their TV viewing experience? According to recent research, nearly 80 percent of viewers take part in the second screen experience, using a variety of different devices – 32 percent use a laptop, 26 percent use their smartphone and 20 percent use a tablet, according to CE.org.
Sometimes, these activities are less related to what people are watching. CE found that 65 percent of people use their second screen for multitasking and 58 percent pick up their smartphone, laptop or tablet to distract themselves during commercial breaks.
Tips for the best second-screen experience
However you choose to use your second screen, there are some tips you can use to give you the best experience possible:
- Check if there is a companion app for the program you’re watching. Something like DIRECTV’s second-screen app for Rogue can offer a ton of interesting tidbits and factoids. You can even impress your fellow viewers with your knowledge of the show – provided they want to hear your feedback of course.
- Use your second screen for research. Have you ever watched a show and recognized an actor, but can’t place where you might have seen them? Having a second screen handy can help you find out the name of the actor as well as other shows or movies they might have been in. Websites like IMDb, or Internet Movie Database, can be very helpful in these respects. You might even discover something new from this actor that you might like.
- Look up reviews. If you’re anything like us, you don’t want to waste two hours on a movie that turns out to be a real stinker. A second screen can allow you to use websites like Rotten Tomatoes to look up reviews of top TV shows and movies so you know what you’re getting into before the beginning credits ever roll.