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Perfecting the second screen experience

Staffan Granholm by Staffan GranholmLast Updated: 26.10.2015
Woman using tablet as a second screen in multiscreen TV service

Multiscreen video has been widely adopted within the OTT industry during the last decade. This enables subscribers to watch the same TV channels and Video-On-Demand content they can watch on their living room TV on second screen devices such as tablets, mobile phones, laptops and PCs. But here's the deal, only showing the same content on another device is not a differentiating factor in the market anymore. To leverage the full potential of the second screen in today's market, the user experience on mobile devices should to be tailored to display complementary information and provide a means to control the primary device. This can be easily illustrated with an example: Let's say you want to watch a movie on Friday evening. Often you will find that browsing the movie catalog on the TV is not that convenient. Typing with the remote control is clunky and browsing the catalog requires a lot of interaction and clicks on the remote control. Now let's consider what we can do with a mobile phone or a tablet. You can easily browse the catalog with hand gestures and if you require more information about a movie, a director or an actor, you can just open IMDB or Wikipedia. And when you find the movie you want watch, just swipe it towards the TV to start playing the movie on the big screen. If you watch Millenials, they use the second screen device to interact in social media and show additional content while watching something on the big screen. Tweeting and chatting about TV is something they are already very accustomed to doing. So for paid content, providers can leverage the Millenial's use of multiple screens to up-sell products and complementary content. It is also important to be able to control the big screen from the companion device. If you can select what to watch from the second screen, you will also want to control volume and do trick play functionality. Why start looking for the remote control when you already have the perfect device to control the TV in your hand? I hope this gave you some ideas about what to consider when you are building your multiscreen service. It is hard to differentiate with content today, so it might be smarter to focus on perfecting the user experience instead.

Staffan Granholm

Staffan Granholm, CEO