The Multi-Screen Trend Today and Future Television Usage Predictions

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Since the introduction of the television into living rooms around the world, the TV has been world’s primary source of entertainment and news.

More impressively, when consumers were watching TV, it commanded a domineering amount of their attention. Whether it was to watch “The Brady Bunch” or to tune into a Barbara Walter’s Special, watching TV was a family event and commanded everyone’s undivided attention. In fact when faced with the decision of why choose Comcast for cable or any other provider consumers must add up the extra services like a DVR. There are so many shows on at the same time it is hard to keep everyone happy.

With the great influx of technology over the last two decades, everything has been changed including watching television. Simply put, TVs have received vibrant updates, gotten smaller, and now feature stunning high definition imagery. However, the more monumental changes to television surround the introduction of the second screen. The second screen can be defined as any electronic device used while someone is watching TV. Initially, the second screen was the computer, then laptop, smartphone, and it now includes the tablet device. According to a report by the Business Insider, a large majority of audiences in the U.S. use a second screen while watching TV on a daily basis.

The Multi-Screen Trend Today and Future Television Usage Predictions

Multi-Screen Trend – Who Gives a Tweet?

According to recent trends, two screens are truly better than one especially when social media is involved. Instead of just watching TV, consumers are choosing to become engaged and engage others through social media. The following statistics from Viacom’s international study, “When Networks Network: TV Gets Social,” offer insight on exactly how social media plays into the second screen and TV.

  • 45% of viewers use social media to stay in tune with the latest show news
  • 44% of viewers use social media to stay up to date about show times
  • 37% of viewers use social media sites to watch exclusive show videos, while 36% of viewers use social media to get plot clues.

The study found consistent social media behaviors across all five countries included in the study. One of the most consistent and obvious uses of social media as a second screen is to comment about a show such as the results of American Idol. Simply put, the second screen is allowing viewers to become more engaged and more connected with other viewers.

Multi-Tasking Millennials

To truly understand the direction of TV usage, you must take into consideration the Millennial generation. These offspring of baby boomers were born between the years 1982-2000. While most of the characteristics used to describe the Millennial generation are unfavorable, multi-tasking is a semi-compliment and will be among the top characteristics used. It comes as no surprise that several studies have concluded the millennial generation is much more likely to multi-task with several connected devices than previous generations.

While TV is still the preferred first screen for the millennial generation, a Nielsen study shows a steady decline in the traditional TV usage. Instead Millennials are now using non-traditional media to watch shows. The most impressive finding was the that 89% of Millenniials surf the Internet while watching television. With a renewed focus on the Internet, Millennials enjoy being in control of their entertainment.

The Student Becomes the Master

Another facet of Millennials is their ability to be relatively demanding. In efforts to accommodate their need to watch what they want when they want it, the television in the future will no longer be the first screen. Instead, the first screen will be any connected device.

According to Needham Insights, several major players in the premium online video (POV) world are already planning to produce the world’s first “Internet-first” television series. By doing so, the shift has already began for the student to become the master, or the second screen (other devices) to become the first.

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