Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A quick wrap-up of the 2nd Screen Society panel at the Next | TV Summit

Last Thursday (20 Sept), I had the opportunity to spend the day at the Next | TV Summit @ the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  While the day was interesting all around (a lot of TV Everywhere, digital video growth, etc), I found the second screen panel perhaps the most interesting and engaging of the day (no surprise here).

Guy Finley, the executive director of the 2nd Screen Society, moderated the panel which consisted of Stephen Brooks from Magic Ruby, Stacy Jolna from ConnecTV, Ed Haslam from YuMe, Alex Rowland from Alphabird, Julien Signes from Envivio, and Chris Wyatt from YouToo.

- The panel opened with a lot of discussion around ad supported digital video and the lack of any real inventory to put ads against (except on UGC sites like YouTube).  The panel felt like growth was needed in total viewing (transition from linear / analog to digital) if the ad market was going to prosper there.  While some amazing stats like 40B click views per month were mentioned by Ed Haslam, fragmentation of those clicks is a real challenge in aggregation of spend.
- Julien spent some time describing the challenge that lay before real TV Everywhere ubiquity, which is part of the choke point holding back the digital video growth.  The other challenge of UGC content (no filters for advertisers to protect their brand) was also discussed as a general choke point contributor.
- Reversing the Tivo trend of cutting out advertising (many of the panelists were a part of the early DVR pioneering company) in second screen with the concept of "sync, share, and play" became a debated topic--an interesting rally slogan for second screen (to engage audiences further).
- The conversation then moved to low cost digital production (web vignettes) and content curation to help unlock the ad inventory potential, and then the panel swung to targeted advertising (perhaps the real deep waters of second screen engagement scenarios).  
- On this subject, perhaps the most valuable of the day, the panel debated the engagement scenario of ads as a means to keep the user interested (pre-roll, second screen, etc) and the concept of synchronizing first screen ads to increase the consumer engagement via the second screen.  

My (perhaps obvious) prediction: we are in the late 1990s with on-line advertising when comparing second Screen and its potential impact on TV ad dollars.  If you will recall, there was a great ensuing debate about whether or not major brands would shift dollars away from print, radio, and TV for the on-line world--and then AdSense from Google came along, making it efficient and measurable.  Dollars shifted over time to on-line spend because of the measurability--which is what second screen can really provide TV advertisers.

Can't wait to see how this develops.

Want to catch the next panel live?

We are supporting Advertising Week in NYC by hosting another panel on October 1st, supporting a 2nd Screen Society members' cocktail mixer, and supporting the show all week (October 1st - 5th) as part of the Advertising Week Experience (AWE) in the Times Center from Oct. 1-4.  For more information on attending, please contact Don Hurley, Director of Member Services (Don@MESAlliance.org(310)882-3742).

Looking forward to seeing you there.


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