2nd Screen has continued to reveal evidence of progress in both monetization and engagement. In addition to our focused research on monetization in Q1, we have been completed a 30-page research report on Sports on behalf of our society members to help them and their primary stakeholders (investors, customers, management) cut through the hype and the disillusionment and focus on clear examples of what is working.
If you had the opportunity to attend 2nd Screen Sunday at NAB, you would have seen the energy around the momentum in the space, starting with the very exciting Twitter Amplify keynote from Mike Park (@MEP) and driving through panels on monetization, UX, discovery, social and enhanced viewing with interesting perspectives shared from Comcast, Roku, Turner, Twitter, Nielsen, Razorfish, Videology, Brightroll, OV Guide, Xbox, the UFC, Razorfish, Kargo, Fox Sports 1, and Tivo.
Some highlights from the update covering 10 major market trends (members and subscribers have full access to all of our research):
1) Hype and disillusionment. The ‘ying and yang’ of the still nascent space continues to frustrate investors, executives and even consumers. While the press (particularly the tech press) continue to be attracted to negative sentiment, there continues to be growing evidence in both monetization and engagement with consumers to support the fundamental data that propels the market segment forward, despite a dearth of “killer app” use cases. The continued investment in 2nd Screen by nearly every major sporting league and media distributor sheds some light on the potential that is slowly being revealed to the market (see our recently published research paper “Sports and the 2nd Screen: the winning combination”). March Madness was perhaps the greatest example of this leading up to its conclusion this weekend in the Final Four. While the return of the PGA Masters was nothing short of awesome though short-lived, we still have MLB’s “At Bat” app to keep ourselves fully occupied.
2) An ecosystem, not an app. Chromecast released their SDK to the wider population, driving more 2nd Screen experiences for both Discovery and Control to be adapted from Viewing Experience apps and Roku announced their streaming stick which will also leverage “casting” features for Netflix and YouTube upon initial release (give thanks to the DIAL protocol). Microsoft continues to invest in its 2nd Screen ecosystem under the SmartGlass brand, giving better feature capabilities not only to video content, but to games (Dead Rising 3)—and have released an SDK of their own (have you checked out BattleField 4: Commander?). Finally, Amazon released their new Fire TV yesterday—with a “Second Screen” companion option in the settings menu and casting for Netflix out of the box. Game on.
8) Social TV. Twitter is making a big push into the 2nd Screen space with both Twitter Video Cards and Twitter Amplify. Mike Park’s keynote at 2nd Screen Sunday at NAB last weekend highlights the opportunity for both engaging the consumer and bringing them back to the first screen and for engaging them in the brands whose advertising space enable the video ecosystem as we know it. John Dixon from Comcast spoke on a panel highlighting the opportunity they envision through the SeeiT feature, whereby consumers can manage their first screen viewing schedule through Twitter. No surprise, Facebook recently announced their intention of ramping up its capability in the space beyond autoplay videos in your news feeds and enabling your hash-tagged posts to live beyond your circle of friends. 3 million retweets during the Oscars can’t be a bad thing for consumer engagement, and had they highlighted that Samsung phone even just a little bit (water marked brand image in the photo), the advertising potential could have easily been realized 100x over (think Twitter Amplify here). Watch this part of the 2nd Screen space closely.
More on Ad Supported Video (AVOD) growth, monetization, the mobile web, ad blockers, consolidation and discovery, as well as an update on monetization and the UX of sporting apps in our report.