If you weren’t fortunate enough to attend our 2nd Screen Summit at IBC on Saturday, you really missed a special gathering (see the Twitter feed). The afternoon was punctuated by some great presentations (“The Future of TV” by Alan Wolk of Kit Digital, “Synchronisation and Media Interaction with Your Consumer” by Alex Terpstra of Civolution), a strong review of the current 2nd screen market data by Renaud Fuchs of Ericsson, and two great panels on monetization (featuring Joe Inzerillo of MLB) and consumer engagement (highlighted by Anthony Rose of zeebox). We even hosted cocktails during the event and a sizable dinner after the event to take advantage of everyone’s creative juices. For those of you that were registered attendants or are 2nd Screen Society members or advisors, you can find the presentations and audio downloads here. For everyone else, here were the key take-aways for me from the summit and for second screen at IBC:
- The Future of TV (by @awolk). Why is Second Screen the best thing that ever happened to Pay TV operators (slides 43-44)? Data. The opportunity to truly capture consumer engagement, measure ROI, improve the user experience (UX).
- Synchronisation and Media Interaction with Your Consumer (by @ADTerpstra). There are a host of new technologies around the synchronization of the second screen device that can drive some engaging consumer use cases--and Civolution has a pretty cool demo app to show the possibilities off.
- 2nd Screen by the Numbers (by @RFuchsTCH). Social TV will be an $8 to $12b business in 2020. Viggle's users check-in 5 times per day on average with a session length of 93 minutes. There were 15 apps launched specifically for the SuperBowl.
- Consumer engagement panel. When initially asked, Inzerillo couldn’t have said it better than “if you deliver a great consumer experience, the monetization will follow.” Panel members ranging from broadcast TV consultants and service providers to content creators and founder of the UK’s most popular 2nd screen app had a spirited discussion about what it takes to really engage audiences, whether "social" was the most important feature set (they didn’t think so) and how "gamification" and "synchronized content" played into the equation. While opinions ranges on many facets of engagement, all of them agreed that if there ever is a killer app in the second screen space, it will both engage yet not distract the users while providing utility (control of the experience), social interaction (including with those actually in the living room), and stimulation (because not all content is viewed equally).
- Monetization panel. In every summit so far, this has been the most anticipated and hotly debated topic: is anyone going to make any money in this space, and if so, how? Inzerillo talked about the early days of streaming (back before it was called OTT) and compared that to their current revenue profile of something north of $600m annually. While he admits it is hard to pull apart precisely the revenues coming from someone using the 2nd screen as a first screen (ie just streaming to their iPhone or iPad), his estimation was that 5-15% of their tablet-based revenue was coming from activity without the live video feed (with the thought that they were getting the video feed from their first screen and were using the app for the stats, commentary, etc). I realize everyone’s immediate reaction is to ask for more specifics (and believe me, they asked in the conference), but maybe the take away here should be simpler than that: they are managing a business that generates a “significant” amount of revenue from a segment that did not exist a few short years ago (tablets, smartphones) which has a strong engagement component around the 2nd screen interactivity—and according to Joe, it is all additive (vs. cannibalistic).
Beyond our event, there was of course IBC at large, and it seemed that every booth you walked by had some sort of second screen experience to throw at you if you slowed down enough. However, some notable takeaways during the various twists and turns of the show floor were Kit Digital's IBC 2012 Innovation Award Winning Voice and Gesture app (in conjunction with Channel 4), Red Bee's IBC 2012 Innovation Award for Content Creation (for their app with FX on the Walking Dead), Civolution's "hat trick" of three IBC awards, and Viaccess-Orca's innovative UI for 2nd Screen content designed to emulate a glossy magazine.
If we were to measure success of the event by the amount of debate and engagement both at the 2nd Screen Summit itself and on the wider IBC show floor, I would say the momentum in the second screen space is growing quickly.
Look out for our panels on the West Coast in a few weeks (Multi-Screen Summit, Next TV Summit), in NY during the first week of October (Ad Week), and our next dedicated event at CES in Las Vegas in the new year.