I was catching up with an old friend today in LA, discussing the latest with second screen, and how the market is growing so quickly. He made a curious comment, and then asked a pointed question, "Second screen seems to be only really valuable for ad supported television. As a home entertainment executive, why should I come to a conference about second screen?"
While I can think of a very long list of reasons as to why I believe second screen matters to both live and on demand content, I thought I would answer this important question with five points:
- Discovery. The single most difficult challenge consumers are presented with in today's seemingly infinite choice for viewing is how to find something worthy of their time. For the majority of their mythical 37 hours, they are in the mode of "find something for me to watch right now", which usually implies no additional fees for their experience. But for a few of those weekly hours, they are in the "show me something worthy of my invested time" mode (a "date night" experience, Sunday afternoon with the kids, etc). That is the sweet spot for home entertainment--a premium, time-advantaged position after the theatrical window. Come and listen to the a discussion surrounding the challenges of leveraging discovery as a tool to help monetize the back catalog of on demand content and to drive digital sell-thru.
- Creating Added Value. For years, the industry has been spending money on bonus features for high-end titles, with clear data that demonstrated the more expensive SKUs were being bought as a gifts. Come join the discussion about finding the best way forward to leverage the value of new companion viewing experiences and debating the best strategies for positioning the content for premium vs. commodity value.
- An UltraViolet Companion. UltraViolet continues to gain momentum, but can it join forces with the explosive market forces propelling second screen forward? Are they together an unstoppable consumer value proposition for home entertainment?
- Promote Sell-thru. Can second screen be a catalyst along side UltraViolet to drive buy rates up from the current 7 titles per year to the 10 that the industry needs? Is there enough differentiation in the current concept of digital ownership to drive the purchase or do we need to sweeten the pot?
- Engage your Consumer. If you know that your consumer has something in his hand, that potentially could interact with your content and brand on a regular basis, why wouldn't you want to learn more about it? And, if that item provided you with insight into your customer's habits, patterns and preferences would the sweeten the deal? How about if that item created a path or gateway for you to build more meaningful and profitable business relationship with other brands/companies who are interested in the same objective (i.e. engagement)? Oh and did I mention that you can build a direct relationship with that consumer as well?
The exploding second screen behavior isn't the result of some clever marketing executive or some visionary start-up. It is the result of an increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets in consumers' homes and the consumer's natural tendency to turn to those devices during lulls in their entertainment experience. No government training, vaccine, or ingenious marketing executive mantra can stop this fundamental change in consumer behavior. The real question for every business affected is whether this is a threat or an opportunity. You can either try in vain to fight against the tide, or spend your energy attempting to harness its momentum, adjusting your business model to adapt to it.
Let's spend an afternoon together trying to figure out how to harness it.
Join us at 1pm at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday, February 26th at the 2nd Annual 2nd Screen Summit in LA. You can register from the top-right of the conference web site or by clicking here.