Second-screen strategies are a big priority for programmers, as eyeballs continue to be drawn away from TV screens and locked on to ever-popular tablets, smartphones and other IP-connected mobile devices.
To help programmers stay in tune with viewers — even as their attention becomes fragmented — an ecosystem of vendors has emerged with a variety of products and applications designed and tailored to keep the viewer engaged and unify the viewing experience with the more mobile second screen.
To keep track of this evolving field, Multichannel News has compiled a scorecard of key players in five product categories: companion applications that sync up with live, ondemand and recorded content; content discovery tools; content-recognition technologies that use audio cues to tee up interactive elements on tablets and smartphones; second screen management tools; and advanced advertising systems for mobile devices. This list, which is not exhaustive, represents the many big players in the second-screen arena, and is meant to serve as a snapshot of how services are evolving.
TV veterans that survived the interactive-TV hype cycle of the late 1990s may get a bout of déjà vu, because history appears to repeating itself more than a decade later as a crop of new suppliers chase a lucrative market opportunity. But rather than delivering interactive apps to the set-top — a market that never truly caught on — this group of vendors is focused on mobile platforms that are not just interactive, but highly personal as well.