Friday, May 6, 2011

Will TV Watching Become A 2 Screen Experience

As tablets and smartphones invade our daily lives, we are using them more. Not just to check e-mail or make a phone call, but to read a newspaper or magazine, play a game, or check on a baseball score. These small screens are so pervasive in our lives that they remain in use even as we watch TV.

But why do these two devices, the TV and the tablet, need to be doing different things? What if the smaller screen was an extension of the larger one. There are too many instances where it would make sense. Watch a sitcom on the HDTV and blog on the iPad with others in real time. Watch "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and play along on the smartphone. Watch a cooking show and download the recipe. Watch QVC and shop. Two screens working together to augment the viewing experience.

For cable companies, it brings another level of interactivity and lends itself to a second screen for advertising. While cable pushes forward with interactivity on the big screen, it is not what the customer wants. They do not want the clutter on the big screen. But coordinate it with a small screen and it may prove a winning combination. Clutter aside, the tablet and smartphone aren't going away. A coordinated effort could be the next generation of viewing behavior.