Digital offerings which are simultaneously opened via a mobile device are very popular and increase loyalty. Broadcasting organisations will benefit from the advantages of this extended programme just as much as the viewers. For one thing, the users’ need for participation and (social) interaction is met. Broadcasters will profit from the loyalty of satisfied users and their willingness to advertise the programme among their friends. Even classic forms of advertising will enjoy synergistic effects. The effect of second screen advertisements running parallel to the commercial break on TV has been proved by a study run by the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. Memorability of brands is particularly high when moving images and user interaction (e.g. on their smartphone) concur.
Examples of Live Shows and Streams
Broadcasters have already developed successful programmes in order to involve the audience during live transmissions. Popular examples are polls conducted using text messages, phone calls or online access when “the winner will be announced at the end of the show”. Second devices which simply provide additional information are also successful. Sportscasts, for example, provide reruns of outstanding highlights, slow-motion sequences, current background information, quotes and comments for the second device.
Users experience a particular sense of achievement when they are personally a part of the programme. Examples for this are surveys, ratings and forecasts in which the audience can participate live. This way, the viewers can experience connectedness and participation. Viewers at home may submit images taken with their mobile phone camera into the studio or send video greetings. User-generated content can vitalise not only entertainment content, but also political debates. With the development of smart TV sets with a built-in camera, participatory TV is close at hand.
Another gamification approach is to reward interaction. Classic examples are raffles or bets where users may also compete against family members and friends. Animated live graphics or the moderator advertise the use of the (branded) second screen. If the user has already installed the respective app, push notifications invite the user to take action.
Upgrading Recorded Content
Recordings do not offer as many opportunities for interactions as live shows, however, the existing options can be amplified. Additional offers add vibrancy and topicality to the content. In particular first broadcasts offer high potential to involve the audience even if they cannot influence the outcome. A good example is the app accompanying the popular German TV crime series Tatort (“Crime Scene”) which allows “eye witnesses” to become interactive investigators.
Online participation may even inject a new lease of life into reruns: The social component is the main focus here, e.g. enabling users to exchange about their favourite scenes.