Home Why Second Screens Beat the Super Bowl

Why Second Screens Beat the Super Bowl

“If the Super Bowl is such a meaningless game, why are so many people posting updates about how they’re not going to watch it?” said one of my Facebook friends, as the game approached halftime.

OK, I don’t follow football. And I especially don’t know anything about the Super Bowl. After the Super Bowl, I was wondering why Nicki Minaj and MIA (aside from her Cee Lo flick-off) didn’t play a bigger role in Madonna’s halftime show. I was also pretty relieved that Madonna made it through that entire performance without slipping, though she did come scarily close. I was truly impressed by some of the throws (Eli Manning!) and was also curious about the stories behind the football players’ tattoos.

What I do know about the Super Bowl is that the Giants won (go New York!), and I got to hang out with some very awesome friends and my friend’s dog, who I want to steal. I also have a few witty one-liners thanks to my more football-savvy Facebook friends because I, like most other social TV watchers, checked Facebook and Twitter during the game.

A new report from Forrester report focuses on how marketers can use audio fingerprinting on second screen messaging to sync with what consumers are watching on the television screen. This, of course, assumes that the person watching the show is focused only on that show. For a mass media spectacle like the Super Bowl, however, the picture is not as simple. More than 40% of U.S. consumers who own tablets or smartphones are using them while watching TV. How can these second screens compliment – and perhaps even trump – the first screen TV experience?

The first thing to consider: Consumers often use their second screens as a space for commentary, not necessarily as a replacement for the first screen. Some consumers may prefer to watch TV while chatting with friends on their iPads. They may or may not be talking about the show. Other times consumers will just text with friends during the show, essentially ignoring much of it.

A co-viewing app, however, recognizes that the consumer is actually watching the show. This is where audio fingerprinting comes into play. If a consumer is using a co-viewing app, audio fingerprinting can be used to deliver relevant content to the second-screen device. In other words, open a co-viewing app and you’ll definitely receive content that is related to the show you’re watching.

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Miso is one such social TV check-in app that uses audio fingerprinting. It quickly figures out what show the viewer is watching, and then delivers content based on that. The hope, as always, is that you will share what you’re learning through the app onto your social media accounts. There are quite a few similar apps that use audio fingerprinting, such as IntoNow, which syncs related news headlines, tweets and stats, and Shazam, which gives consumers the opportunity to receive customized offers and information.

Popular entertainment check-in apps like GetGlue ask the consumer what they’re watching, but do not use audio fingerprinting.

But what if you are watching the Super Bowl not for the athleticism and the actual event, but for the critique of the event itself? Or maybe you’re watching for the, um, football players? These might be some of the thoughts that crossed your mind during the Super Bowl.


Have marketers discovered an social TV app that delivers witty criticism from friends and family members?

Oh wait, yes, they have! It’s called the Facebook news feed.

At the halftime show, another Facebook friend of mine asked the question we were all wondering but too modest to ask: “Why is Cee Lo dressed like Aretha Franklin?”

I showed the status update to a few friends at the party, and we burst out laughing.

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