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Viewers ignore connected TV apps

New research from The NPD Group has revealed that despite the increased availability of second-screen apps, consumers are by and large not using them on their laptops, tablets, smartphones or other connected devices.

NPD’s Digital Video Outlook Second Screens Report found that 88% of US households own at least one device that can be used as a second screen, with a similar percentage of entertainment consumers reported to be using at least one second-screen device while watching television.

Yet even though multitasking between devices and the main TV was common, the survey revealed that viewers were less willing to use their second-screen devices to interact directly with applications designed specifically for the TV programmes they are watching. Furthermore play-along games, check-in rewards, live voting and other interactive features were highly effective only for a minority of second-screen viewers.

PCs were the devices most used simultaneously with TV (60%), followed by smartphones (55%) and tablets (49%). Among TV viewers who use second-screen devices, only 47% have participated in second-screen activities. The most common TV-to-second-screen interaction was learning more about the TV programme they were watching and finding out about the actors in that programme.

In a blow not only to their developers but to proponents of social TV in general, Viggle, zeebox and other apps designed to enhance second-screen engagement were not commonly used by consumers. Instead, of those TV watchers who engage in second-screen activities, most interact with their TV experience by visiting IMDb, Wikipedia and social networks.

“Viewers are interested in searching to find further information about TV shows they are watching, but they are not using games and other immersive applications created as a component of the programming,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “This situation creates a potential diversion from advertising, and it will take a combined effort from content owners, advertisers, broadcasters, and others to present an aligned second-screen experience that will appeal to viewers.”

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