Second-screen usage is a term we have become familiar with in recent years. The phrase ‘second screen’ relates to a person’s activities when watching television. Imagine, you’re sitting at home watching Saturday night television and Britain’s Got Talent is on. You’re listening to the latest sob story before an individual performs and to be honest, it’s a little dull and boring – your attention is immediately lost. You pick up your phone and start to scroll through – looking for something more interesting to occupy your mind. The contestant on Britain’s Got Talent starts singing but you’re still scrolling. This is ‘second screening’. The idea that you’re using two screens at once to entertain yourself.
The most common second-screen item is a mobile phone, but an iPad, laptop or even desktop PC can also be used. Due to this trend, marketing channels have adapted to incorporate real-time viewing. For example, Britain’s Got Talent now has an app where you can ‘buzz’ a participant to show your distaste in the performance. The app is designed to try and catch your attention continuously and prevent you from logging on elsewhere.
In the UK, roughly three-quarters of the British population use an online device whilst watching TV. When you adjust this to analyse only under 25-year-olds, the statistic soars to 93%. If you think back to the last time you watched TV, were you also on another device?
Your second-screen activity may vary depending on what you love; scrolling through social media, texting friends, playing games or rather, playing casino games. Online casino in UK benefits massively from the use of second screens. If your go-to activity to kill time is playing on automated Slots or a quick hand of Blackjack, you’re the perfect example of ways in which second screening is benefitting online casinos.
It’s as simple as anything else on your phone, after downloading an app, you can quickly log on and play a few spins. Online casinos recognise this and have now developed their marketing strategy to incorporate this social habit.
One of the more common ways you will see this is in real-time advertising. For example, on the TV you might see an advert announcing that you have just five minutes to enter a code on a game to receive some free spins. There are also competitions shown as TV adverts. These adverts tell you to find a specific word in a word search and once you’ve found it to head online to a site, to be in with a chance of winning.
Possibly the most memorable time when a brand used TV advertising to promote second screen usage, is Paddy Power’s real-time-betting-odds. During the half-time period of sporting events or other advert breaks, a Paddy Power advert would pop up offering odds relating to the game you are watching. For example, if you were watching the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, Paddy Power might offer you the odds on Harry Kane to score next. These real-time bets are favourable to viewers because they’ve already seen some of the game, so feel as though they have a better chance of winning. For the online sportsbook, they manage to make the most of the entire broadcast, not just the 90 minutes of play, by persuading viewers to use their second screen and place a bet during ‘downtime’.
With the popularity of using a second screen rising, we can expect the online casino and online sportsbook industries to see continual growth. Unfortunately for TV programmes, they not only have to fight against the rise in popularity of Netflix and other streaming networks but also fight for the attention that’s left from viewers. Could these changes cause terrestrial television broadcasting to decline?