M+E Daily

2nd Screen Summit: Content Providers Focus On Building Their Audience

By Lyndsey Schaefer

Speakers at Wednesday’s 2nd Screen Summit in Santa Monica, Calif. agreed that, at least for now, creating customers is of paramount importance for the emerging platform. Companies will find ways to monetize second screen content later.

With the increasing adoption of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, the home entertainment audience appears to be primed for second screen experiences. For example, 83 percent of tablet owners are using their device primarily at home, according to Keith Nissen, research director for The NPD Group, who shared data on “The World in Which 2nd Screen Apps Will Live.” Nissen added that 38 percent of adults currently own smartphones, while 65 percent of connected devices in the home are laptops.

By 2016, there will be 840 million connected devices in operation, or 10 per broadband household, NPD forecasts.

NPD’s findings support a stat given by BuddyTV’s Bill Baxter, the 2nd Screen Summit keynote, who said that 50 percent of TV viewers are simultaneously emailing, social networking, or browsing the Internet.

During an afternoon panel on “CE and 2nd Screen: Innovation and Elegance,” representatives of consumer electronics manufacturers and service provider companies — including Kemal Altintas of LG Electronics, Kevin Morrow of Samsung Electronics, Louisa Shipnuck of Verizon Digital Services and Yaz Yaacob of Testronic Labs — shared thoughts on the device side of the equation. The panelists addressed issues with current 2nd screen devices, such as the difficulty of functionality across all devices, universal specifications for how applications are developed, and apps working in concert with the first screen.

Panelists stressed the importance of collaboration between vendors and consumer electronics manufacturers. Also key is making sure that quality is consistent so that consumers discover new content on the second screen and play it back on the first screen. In addition, Live, linear and VOD content all must work hand in hand to ensure increased consumer adoption, acceptance and continued use.

Another panel on “Vision and Collaboration in Third Party Application Development” stressed the challenges of maintaining the second screen ecosystem. The panel featured Bryan Barber of Fox, Robert Gekchyan of Technicolor, David Jessen of Disney, Mike Petrocelli of Civolution, Juan Reyes of BluFocus, and Bhanu Srikanth of Jargon Technologies. The panelists said that although there are many differences between DVD and Blu-ray disc authoring approaches and the second screen content creation, the end result is more gratifying for the user.

While there is no standardized second screen production template, the panelists ultimately agreed that the new platform offers an opportunity to storytell unlike any other technology before it.