Transmedia vs Multi-screen Distractions
Television audiences are no longer limited to one blaring screen. In fact, audiences are interacting with a second or even third screen while watching shows with help from their tablets, smart phones and laptops. These electronics now compete with the flat-screen for viewer attention, which for a medium based on impressions is an major issue.
According to a Harris Interactive survey, 56 percent of Americans watching TV concurrently surf the Internet and 40 percent visit a social networking site. Thirty-seven percent of viewers are also busy texting on their mobile phones while the TV rumbles on.
Another study, put together by Room 214 and Crimson Hexagon, called Digital Shifts: How New Media is Changing TV, shows 52 percent of communication on Facebook from users watching TV offered facts like “I’m watching,” followed by the name of the program. It also shows 19 percent of studied viewers started conversations about the show. And when they do update their social media channels, the study showed Facebook encourages more conversation while Twitter serves more as a broadcast medium.
In a recent IPG Media Lab and YuMe study, it was stated that smart phones present a real threat to attention and is considered distraction media. The results concluded that smartphones accounted for 60 percent of TV distractions. The reason is mainly that marketers have been slow to embrace the opportunity of phones, among other devices, being used as a tool for supplemental or enhanced consumer engagement. When they do, these devices move from being a distraction to an opportunity.
Eat St. iPhone app
In Canada, the Food Network and Paperny Films integrated mobile strategy into the release of a new TV series called Eat St. The TV show launched simultaneously with an iPhone app of the same name. The app offered location-based services linking users to vendors featured on the show as well as thousands of others across North America. The app gives fans a deeper experience — they can find carts in their cities and begin accessing them. This digital integration worked two ways: fans of the app could check out the TV show, and fans of the show were introduced to the app.
Another example of integration is from Old Navy’s spring advertising campaign that featured commercial spots with available audio tagging for additional content. Powered by Shazam, consumers are able to tag Old Navy’s branded pop music with their smartphones and immediately have the option to buy the look featured on the models, download the song or watch other video content.
For brands, social media and mobile spend steadily increases. However, it’s more important that these tools are integrated across all media channels as to maintain consumer eyes, ears and fingers. Audiences update their Facebook and Twitter before, during and after their shows. News is being tweeted as it happens, televisions are using Facebook as a hub for fans to interact, and video is being watched on more and more smart phones. It only makes sense for traditional programming to capture the audience that’s online already so all devices serve as brand enhancements rather than distractions.
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