Advertisers and TV networks are worried that viewers are constantly using their mobile devices or computers while watching TV shows and they end up not watching most of the actual shows. A recent study by Time Warner Research Council claims to have come up with a remedy for this and similar problems. The study suggests that by allowing viewers to interact with social media on another screen, they became more engaged in the programming than if they were watching without social media on the second screen. The idea is not to distract viewers, but rather to revolutionize the way they watch TV.
It is a fact that connected devices are affecting the viewing experience; one study participant said that when he and his roommate watch TV they are always on their electronic gadgets. They talk about what is happening, then communicate with their social networks and watch the programme all at the same time. The other important thing is that people use social media to optimize their levels of excitement and interest pertaining whatever they are doing; this includes watching TV shows and more. This can also prove that social media might actually help viewers keep their focus. Viewers pay more attention when something interesting is happening and when their interest wanes, they will change the channel, or do something else. On the other hand, a second screen will allow for a social engagement and viewers will have a reason to stay on a channel with their friends.
Researchers used biometric monitoring and eye-tracking to analyze the varying levels of social behaviour of 126 thousand viewers. In this experiment they found that if viewers watch shows while in the company of their friends in person or through Social Medias, they will have an engagement level that is 1.3 times higher than when they watch alone. The research also showed that if viewers use co-viewing applications, that are designed to deliver both the show and allow conversation is sync with the program, they will have an engagement level that is 2.6 times than when they watch alone. One participant said that they would be less into the show if they didn’t have someone to else to share with and get involved into the show as well.
The research also suggested that even if viewers turn on Social Media during advertisement, they will still pay attention to the TV. Eye-tracking results showed that viewers respond to audio cues in commercials and shows, and sometimes people pay more attention than they think they do. Viewers also like brands that associate themselves with second screen experiences like AT&T, which supports a app that people can use while watching the TV show ‘Conan’.