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Orchestrated Media - Beyond second and third screen

Jerry Kramskoy Jerry Kramskoy | 15:00 UK time, Monday, 7 February 2011

“Second screen”, “two screen” and “three screen” are concepts that broadcasters and other media providers are just starting to get to grips with.

Common usage of the term “two screen” refers to consumption of media across TV and Internet.  “Three screen” adds in mobile devices.  It doesn't necessarily imply simultaneous consumption of content via these different media forms. Nor does it imply the consumed content is related across the screens (e.g. an audience member may be using Facebook or Twitter for a completely unrelated purpose, while paying less attention to the TV show).

Thinking in those terms is perhaps unnecessarily limiting in scope and misses the broader picture around the opportunities of social media, creating more seamless media experiences, and how these flow from home environment to beyond.

We introduce the term “Orchestrated Media” to encompass these wider ideas and discuss the the elements needed to realise this.

How are the audience using multiple screens?

The A2/M2 Three screen report (Q3 2009, Nielsen) concerns itself with media consumption patterns on each of the media forms, noting that consumers are adding video consumption platforms (mobile, Internet) to their weekly viewing schedule, rather than replacing TV, and gives statistics on hours of consumption of each form.  It mentions once in the entire report that TV and Internet are simultaneously consumed at least once a month by 57% of US homes with broadband, and on average 2.7% of the total TV time per month involved simultaneous Internet access.  A more recent survey carried out by Nielsen on behalf of Yahoo, reported in July 2010,   showed that 3 out of 4 Americans use TV and Internet simultaneously, and half do so every day, but despite TV network encouragement to log in online to further engage with their content only 7% of the respondents frequently engaged online with content related to the TV show or advertisement.  This simultaneous consumption tended to occur during news and sports programs.  It's not clear whether the Web activity was related to the content or whether these genres required less attention to the TV compared with drama.

There is also growth in audience use of time-shifted TV, both for convenience but also to deal with the larger choice of channels available through Cable and Satellite.  Similarly, online video is used analogously to time-shift (e.g. no DVR available at point of consumption) and mobile video consumption is growing with smart phone acceptance (up 51.2% on previous year).  Also, mobile video consumption is growing, with 15M viewers in Q2, 09 compared to 7M in Q2, 08, a 70% increase.  This is very likely to increase as tablets gain acceptance.

So, the big question is:  can media providers utilise these other screens more creatively to improve their understanding of their audience, deepen their audience engagement, increase loyalty, and boost ratings.    Can this further the public service remit to inform, educate and entertain, or attract further investment for commercial media providers?

There are reports of new approaches to audience engagement whereby some entertainment providers, such as broadcasters, are tying together mobile, content, social check-in (who's consuming what) and viewer rewards (such as access to additional content, social status increase), hence creating cultural groups that share common interest around content. 

Here, viewers log in to the broadcaster via mobile devices to then socialise over content, thus letting the broadcaster know who consumes what; viewers are deemed to have “checked-in” with a particular piece of content, analogous to a group of people congregating at a physical place.  The social chatter is readily available for analysis over longer periods of time.  This enables the provider to analyse audience behaviour, content popularity and understand which parts of content create a more significant response (for example, social activity).  This data also enables recommendations to be provided based on social group, and so on.

The above is still essentially a manual process for the consumer, and the non-TV devices are rarely engaged with content related to the TV program, and there's no sense of a shared experience via the TV device.

In the next blog, we look beyond the second and third screen.  We look at a new range of services we are researching here in R&D that we refer to as Orchestrated Media (OM).  These are engaged with using multiple collaborative devices, such as hybrid TV, mobiles, and tablets (etc).  Interactive content is distributed to the non-TV devices, that is complementary to and synchronised with the main broadcast content.  To accomplish this, native / web applications running on a non-mobile device can pair up with a counterpart running on the TV or directly engage with core functionality on the TV.  With on-demand, this allows the non-TV device to both navigate its own content in time but also cause the TV content to follow in step (and other non-TV devices), and vice-versa.

My team in R&D, who are researching into mobile and connected home, are working on the enablers for OM.  My colleagues in Audience Experience are considering social - behavioural aspects of this, and we are also working with colleagues from Prototyping who are creating some of these experiences.  More on this in the next blog.


  • Comment number 1.

    Lets not make it too complicated... 'viewing or listening again' I often stop the stream to check a fact on Google... does that count. With a musical friend we fire up the music and follow the score ( or rather he does... from a net source I'm not good enough!). I have stopped the stream and written a tweet or even a facebook post and the gone back.

    Of course lots of people comment on Question Time on Twitter in real time (its quieter than viewing with a group in front of the TV :-)

    And at the very simple level digital radio (both freeview and over the air, can offer words to go with the music. (eg surtitles to opera.)

    Of there is an opportunity for third parties to create second screens for other peoples products.

  • Comment number 2.

    Can this further the public service remit to inform, educate and entertain, or attract further investment for commercial media providers?

    Of course.... but this brings us outside the remit of R&D and into the realms of production budgeting.
    Without additional budgets to provide enhanced content for these services there will simply be a cheapening of the core programming material. Those viewing directly on mobile devices may not see or hear the difference.
    Cheaper and cheaper TV production is the only outcome. Welcome to the real world of amateurisation.


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