Lyris Connections Blog

Social TV and the “Second Screen” Phenomenon

Oct 09, 2012 by

If you’ve paid an exceptional amount of attention to the lower right hand corner of your TV screen while watching your favorite show, you may have noticed a rising trend in the display of Twitter hashtags. The intent of the hashtags is to create a social buzz around the show that you are watching by giving you a chance to interact in real time with others who are watching the same show. This phenomenon has been dubbed Social TV.

A few weeks back I attended an eMarketer breakfast in San Francisco that included a presentation on Social TV and examined the results of a survey on how marketers are integrating social media with programming and advertising.

Social TV and The Second Screen Phenomenon Here are a few numbers to think about as you are deciding if Social TV is the right fit for your company:

  • 61% of respondents checked email while watching TV.
  • 22% looked up coupons or deals related to an ad aired on TV.
  • 37% looked up information related to the programming.
  • 28% of 18 – 34-year-olds actively use social media while watching TV.

Add to that these results from eMarketer research published this January on the TV-related activities of U.S. Internet users:

  • 57% talk about what they are watching via text message
  • 49% “Like” or “favorite” shows they are watching
  • 85% watch TV in the same room as others.

The eMarketer breakfast presentation also included exceptional Social TV examples from Capital One, Coca Cola, Hyundai, and Pepsi. I’m sharing the Capital One example because I think it truly showcases how social buzz can directly impact viewer engagement.

Capital One Social TV

Capital One ran a campaign during March Madness that encouraged fans to check in at the beginning of each game using Viggle, a social app that rewards users for checking in to watch TV shows. During games, the app delivered fun trivia about the game, and Capital One or general knowledge trivia questions to engage with viewers in real time. 

The results:

  • The number of check-ins increased with each round during the games.
  • Viewers watched most of the games in their entirety.
  • Most fans answered over 60% of the questions asked.
  • Capital One reported meaningful movement in key brand metrics.

Additional screens affect viewing behavior 

Ad Age recently featured the findings of this Time Warner Research Council study on how an additional screen affects viewing behavior. According to the study, interacting with social media on a second screen makes viewers more engaged in programming than if they were watching alone without social media.  Researchers used biometric monitoring and eye tracking to determine the behaviors of 126 Millennial viewers. Here are their findings:

  • Viewer engagement levels while watching with a friend or connecting with a friend over social media were 1.3 times higher than for people watching alone and not using social media. 
  • Engagement among those using co-viewing apps was 1.2 times greater than those viewing alone without a social app.

So what do you think? Are you in the habit of using a second or third screen? Do you think marketers should pay close attention to this behavior in order to create more engaging campaigns? Comment below and share your thoughts.      

Briana Iwuji

About the Author: Briana Iwuji

Briana Iwuji is the social media manager at Lyris with a background in public relations and partner management. Briana is a social media enthusiast and is responsible for developing, managing and marketing the social media identity for Lyris. Follow Briana on Twitter @Briana_Iwuji


[...] Social TV and the “Second Screen” Phenomenon via Lyris Viewer engagement levels while watching with a friend or connecting with a friend over social media were 1.3 times higher than for people watching alone and not using social media. [...]

Commented by: Social TV Week In Review: The News ( + Voices of Dissent) «
Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05 am

As an avid iPad user while watching sporting events I find it very nice when they offer mobile web services or "apps" available to follow along. Generally the sporting app notifications come in handy to remind me when the game starts. I believe even in our DVD/Tivo generation; sporting events, award shows, and other major live broadcasts should promote social second screen abilities. Therefore increasing more live eyes on their ads as viewers feel more engaged with other watching friends.

Commented by: Blake
Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 01 pm

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