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According to Nielsen’s recent survey of nearly 12,000 connected device owners, seventy percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners said they use their devices while watching television, compared to only 35 percent of eReader owners. And sixty-one percent of eReader owners use their device in bed, compared to 57 percent of tablet owners and 51 percent on smartphones.
Couple that with the fact Gartner predicts that well over 200 million tablets will be sold by 2014. And by 2015, more than one-third of American consumers (and likely Europeans) will use a tablet PC, says firm Forrester Research.
Triple that even with Coda Research Consultancy predicting that worldwide sales of smartphones will total 2.5 billion units throughout 2010 to 2015.
Goodbye old remote. Hello new engagement and interactive TV on the second screen... multiplatform style - with Social TV, tCommerce, game mechanics,chat, communities et al.
Throw in some DLNA and cloud-based VOD and Catchup via IP pipes and I can finally watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, with whom I want to watch it (virtually), on any device that I feel like watching it on.
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The future is written in the numbers above.
While broadcasters sit on their hands and mull over the second screen interaction with TV, carriers like Vodaphone and Orange are trying to own that spot with Social TV plays, content producers are writing new formats that integrate tightly with the second screen so they can try and own that spot, CE manufacturers like Samsung and Toshiba who make tablets are trying to marry it tightly and offer API's and SDK's to third party developers to co-own that sweet spot, third party developers in the USA like Miso, Philo, Tunerfish, Getglue and Intonow are trying to own that space by building Social TV on Apple and Android tablets and smartphones - Google TV wants a piece of the action with Android and Chrome plays on TVs, smart phones and tablets, Apple is in the fray and likely to tie in the iPad and iPhone with a consumer TV play soon as rumours have it... Cable companies are slower than broadcasters in terms of interactive TV on the primary screen never mind multiplatform for the better part (Cable Labs is crawling along in the USA) and European Pay TV operators are not doing anything much quicker... except perhaps Sky.
Advantage for broadcasters is access to the scripts prior to broadcast, strong relationships with the brands and agencies to monetise the second screen, and they can offer a one app does all solution rather than a slew of format level apps at the show level.
Disadvantages for broadcasters are the threats coming from everywhere by more agile players. They also have a lack of willingness to create any open standards and let third parties develop in the space, and - well - moving things forward in the broadcast world is like moving a mountain. Between the internal politics of R&D teams who don't want to open up to third party solutions - because it's their bread and butter - to build themselves... and the upper echelon who just 'don't get it' - it's not an easy land grab for them. Remember Firefox has thrashed Internet Explorer due to open standards in the browser wars. And Facebook as well as Apple have both proven that having tens of thousands of developers essentially working on spec and rev sharing drives innovation a hell of a lot faster then air hangers full of 9-5 coders on the payroll. They just can't compete.
And there are plenty of others who see the ripe opportunity on the second screen for advertising, IP metrics, selling via affiliation models or direct deals with brands, interactive experiences and much more. That 200 billion dollars of TV ad spend globally is rather enticing. And plenty of it's going to move to connected devices in the future, rather than the old value chain where brands give money to agencies who create 30 second spots and pay the broadcasters to interupt viewing with ads that don't even mean anything to the consumer half the time. So they go up and brew a pot of tea.
What do you think?