But for second screen, I cannot honestly say we made a huge leap forward in the last 12 months. Somethings are better, some worse, and some continue to be interesting to watch as consumer engagements around the experiences drive the market forward.
The interesting: This was the 2nd opportunity we have had recently to really test "special purpose" apps vs. 3rd party "multi-function" apps. CBS deployed an updated "special purpose" app for the Grammy's a few weeks ago (with updates coming just a few days before the event itself). zeebox, Viggle, and E! Live from the Red Carpet lead the "multi-function" effort for this type of event. As a consumer myself, I can't say the special purpose app was significantly better than the 3rd party apps--in fact, because I am now used to the UI of zeebox, Viggle, and E! Live from the Red Carpet, I actually found them easier to use.
- It was still time delayed by 3 hours for the west coast. While some apps (Viggle for example) tried to keep out spoilers, most second screen apps didn't--and even my CNN app kept telling me who the winners were before I turned it on.
- The broadcasting network (CBS) had a very busy UI/UX with too many spoilers (including photos of the winners) that should have been better than third party apps like zeebox or E! Live from the Red Carpet. They seemed to have attempted to make the web and tablet experience the same (perhaps to save money), but watered down both in the process.
- Most of the focus was around the "social" aspect of second screen, with little attention being paid to the "stimulating" side of the experience (unlike the Golden Globes and People's Choice awards from a few weeks ago, which were great at both).
The positive improvements:
- For consumers looking for an enhanced viewing experience, zeebox did a great job during the event, though it could not stifle the time delay of tweets. They were not in the US last year.
- Viggle did a decent job of managing the time shift and offering consumers a quiz-based experiences throughout the show that was decently compelling--this didn't exist a year ago.
- The E! Live from the Red Carpet app gave great pre-show experiences, mostly improved from 2012's efforts in many ways.
- The program itself paid more attention in on-screen graphics and commentation to Social TV (mostly Twitter) and Second Screen, which I think is great for the industry in total.
- There were decent showings from Shazam and GetGlue (neither of which did much last year), though some good app experiences from last year seemed to have waned in their efforts.
What are your thoughts about "special purpose" vs. "multi-function" apps?
Feel free to comment here on this blog or on LinkedIn in our 2nd Screen Society forum. Or just reach out to us on Twitter @S32Day or @ChuckParkerTech using the hashtag #SecondScreen.
Want to continue this discussion live? Come see us on February 26th at the Beverly Hilton for our 2nd Annual 2nd Screen Summit in LA 1.30-6pm, with cocktails to follow.