Advertisements during television shows are an important way for companies to get their products or services in front of the eyes of consumers. At one time, they just had to battle the occasional bathroom or snack break. However, today they also have to deal with viewers who have shorter attention spans and more than one screen in front of them. Second screens can consist of laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other electronic devices. Today, nearly four in ten adults use a second screen while watching television. If these households have children under the age of 18, that number jumps to 69 percent.
About a third of people are using their second screen to look up information about the show or find out more about the actors in the show. On the other hand, 65 percent are surfing the Internet, and 71 percent are checking their email. While 58 percent say that they use a second screen device to give them something to do while the commercials are on, 43 percent admit they use their second screen because the current show they have on their television isn’t interesting enough to hold their attention.
This lack of engagement with what’s showing on television is impacting advertisers. Around 58 percent of viewers have a decreased awareness about the advertisements playing. As a result of this trend, advertisers are looking for new ways to reach their audience and get more engagement. Some advertisers are using synchronized ads that push products to multiple screens. Channels such as Syfy have created apps for Samsung phones, including the Galaxy Note 4, that, when synced with a live or repeat viewing of a show, offers trivia, extra photos and videos, and games.
Keep reading to learn more about the second screen phenomenon and how smartphones have changed the way we watch television.