Watching TV is no longer an experience to itself;  currently it is estimated that as many as 86% of viewers are second screeners, meaning they are simultaneously on their phones, laptops, or tablets.   From texting family and friends, to perusing Facebook, Twitter, and the news, and looking up content related to whatever show may be on at the time, software developers sense the huge troves of information to be gleaned from this parallel behavior.

“‘I’ve been thinking a lot about big data’, explains Mobovivo CEO and Founder Trevor Doerksen. Results obtained for data analysis he’s seen ‘clearly show that second screen activity can be monetized by the TV channel more effectively than social activity alone.'”  TV viewership can be increased by a 2.5% margin through show-specific app launches, which can create up to 77% higher engagement with a show on social media through tweets, likes, shares, etc.

Mobovivo’s StayTuned platform is the force behind the ESPN Sync second screen solution.  Features include everything from interviews, instant replays, interactive content, and live Twitter chatter, to facts, statistics and polls about all aspects of the game.  ESPN Brazil has launched a similar experience for second screeners, and with the FIFA World Cup 2014approaching quickly, it will be exciting to see what kind of social media event the tournament becomes on its sidelines.  With the app becoming the number one among sports apps in Brazil within the first week of its release, the development looks promising.

TV, smart phones, and tablets are not competitors for attention anymore, but ought to augment the experience with the others, at least according to Luis Olivalves, New Business Director with ESPN Brazil, who sees them all as great companions for ESPN.  Doerksen would agree that all work well together;  user engagement increased 58% with Sync application.   When apps are launched specifically for TV, activity is 77% higher than other social media activity directly related to the show.

For the companies involved and their clients globally, connecting in and of itself is no longer the goal.  What is happening now is that meaningful connections are being made through providing better, more relevant content and interaction is fostered across the board, through the pervasive presence of the smartphone and powered through big data.

(Image Credit:  Clemens v. Vogelsang)

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