Where's the Money in the Second Screen?


The broadcasting industry is – quite rightly – getting excited about the potential that second screens have for delivering content to viewers.

Put another way, broadcasters and cable platforms are looking nervously at the rise of OTT players such as Netflix and illegal streaming sites. Often they are responding by either offering their own “TV Everywhere” solutions or hacking together pseudo-OTT offerings.

There’s money to be made (or lost) in those darn second screen hills, and the traditional broadcast players don’t want to miss out on the gold rush.

But figuring out how to monetise second screen content viewing may the wrong way to approach this challenge.

The increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets is getting a lot of industry attention, but for all their popularity– they take up a limited slice of people’s time, and nowhere near the amount of time spent on linear TV viewing.

True, the penetration of second screens is rising all the time. But in that respect it strikes me that this period is very similar to the early days of the internet. That’s why there’s much to be said for the philosophy of forgetting about revenue.

This is a landgrab.

What’s key is getting viewers into the habit of viewing your content on second screens.

And that’s all that matters. Get people watching your content on your broadcast-quality online video player or TV Everywhere offering – it’s eyeballs that count at this moment in time.

Content is king and will always be king, so get your precious content out there in a professional, easy-to-view way for viewers and you’ll reap the revenue rewards in the long-term.

Yes, Netflix is cheap in the UK, but the content it offers is not a patch on what’s available on linear channels now.

The early internet pioneers cared little about revenue.They just gave people what they wanted and how they wanted it, and the losers in the race for eyeballs faded away, never having to bother about how they could monetise users since they no longer had any.

Do broadcasters and platforms want to end up as the MySpace or AOL of the second screen age? If not, who’s best positioned to win the second screen land grab?

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Nick Moreno, Head of Market Intelligence



image courtesy of Public Domain Photos with some rights reserved