Henriette S Sæther 18. Apr 2017
Can you remember the last time you sat down to watch TV and didn’t check your phone or tablet at least once during the program? Neither can we. In today’s climate of instantaneous news, views and viral entertainment threads, there’s always something unique and engaging to look at every time you turn on your connected device.
Take this Google study, for example, which found that a staggering 93% of the British population aged 25 years and under uses a smartphone while watching TV at any given time. Now, imagine that your company has paid good money to advertise in the commercial break during a primetime slot on TV. If we are to assume that interest drops when the adverts begin, at which point the vast majority of viewers begin browsing other content on their phone or tablet, then you’re likely to be dissatisfied with your investment!
Social media has undoubtedly aided the influx of viewers using connected devices while watching TV, as it has become an integral part of how online communities collectively ‘share’ the highs and lows of a viewing experience.Twitter recently published data from US-based users, revealing that 85% of those who are active on the site during a primetime TV slot are tweeting about the content they are watching.
This issue is amplified dramatically when considered in the context of sports broadcasting. The companies with enough capital to advertise in and around high profile sports fixtures are well aware of the threat of viewers disregarding TV advertising, and so broadcasters must look at ways to keep eyeballs on the broadcast – and its intended advertising placements – otherwise companies will quickly lose interest and CFOs will not approve the high sponsorship fees.
We think it’s clear that utilizing two screens at once – a TV and a connected portable device – is becoming synonymous with watching TV. To make sure you’re in the right mind-set, we think it’s a mistake to use the term ‘second screen’, as the first screen is the one that’s being watched, whatever its size! This multiscreen practice will continue to grow and so broadcasters and commercial partners alike must not attempt to combat it or even worse, ignore it. Instead, they should look at ways in which to capitalize upon the dual screen experience and own it.
The major sports broadcasters around the world are already integrating player and viewer comments from social media into their live broadcasts and highlights shows, offering further insight into a performance and cultivating that collective viewing experience. Why not pander to viewer desires to check real-time social updates, by allowing Snap Stories, iMessages and rolling Twitter feeds within an independently controllable in-game hub; all accessible on the connected device, while your branding is still in place?
We are developing innovative and interactive on-screen graphics that will enable rights holders and broadcasters to enhance the allure of their live sports programing. Sixty empowers broadcasters to use the stats and VoD assets they already have in the production gallery and make them accessible through our interactive graphics.
This whole new ecosystem of content considerably expands the personalized viewing experience, and can all be accessed on the user’s additional, primary device. Interest in the program will be maintained as slow motion replays of exciting moments, dropdown menus of individual player performance stats, and illuminating camera angles can all be controlled by the viewer.
Crucially, our advertising module provides geo-targeted advertisements throughout the broadcast, ensuring that relevant and individualized product placements reach the viewer, while they are engaged with the interactive features accessible on the connected device. We see this as a very exciting opportunity for viewers and content owners to take the in-game experience to the next level, and one that could spell a lifeline for boosting sports broadcast viewership – and its much needed advertising – throughout the duration of the program.