The Second Screen Phenomenon: How Smartphones Changed TV

The Second Screen Phenomenon: How Smartphones Changed TV

Advertising on television has always been a difficult endeavor. Advertisers used to contend with everything from bathroom breaks to trips to the kitchen. If they didn’t make commercials that were captivating enough to keep viewers glued to their chairs, then they weren’t selling products.

Today, those advertisers have even more difficult jobs. This new difficulty comes from second screens. Second screens can include practically any device that people use while watching TV. If you use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop while watching TV, then you are a second screen user. You’re definitely not alone. About 40 percent of adults say they look at second screens while watching TV programs.

What are those people doing? About 65 percent are surfing the Web. In other words, they’re entertaining themselves while watching TV shows and during commercial breaks. A TV commercial can hardly compete with the whole Internet. The rest are looking up information that’s relevant to the shows they’re watching. They’re reading about the actors, related projects, and similar subjects. When you have a reliable network and a top rated smartphone like theĀ iPhone 6S, you can access all of that information within seconds, so there’s no reason to feel bored by a commercial.

Some advertisers have found ways to get around this problem. The smartest ones are now advertising on the sites people use when reading about the shows on TV. Let’s say you’re watching a broadcast of American Horror Story. Advertisers know that a lot of people do not pay attention to the commercial breaks. Instead, they might put an ad on a site like TV Guide. That way, you see their advertisement even though you are looking at your second screen. It’s a savvy approach that proves advertisers are doing hard work to keep up with the evolving habits of TV viewers. Keep on reading for more facts about second screen users.