The Battle Over Eyeballs: Pros and Cons of Second Screens

Palina Trokhautsava's Picture
Palina Trokhautsava

When watching a movie or a game, we get distracted by smartphones. Is it a dead-end for visual content industries? Not with the second screen technology.

How often are you sidetracked by a smartphone when watching a game, a movie, or a concert? What if you use it to see additional perspectives and interact with the primary content in real time? Choose the needed angle, compare objects, and don’t miss a thing. We’re talking about the second screen technology which has taken interactivity to a whole new level. What’s all the buzz about? Let’s deal with the technology, its pros and cons.

What is the Second Screen?

The practice of using second screens appeared when we got more devices. People got used to texting or searching information during events. However, today the technology takes new shapes - users have interactive apps at their disposal. Second screen development implies that you use a complementary device like a smartphone when watching live broadcasting or recorded visual content.

The number of mobile devices is growing. According to Statista, it’s likely to reach 17.72 billion worldwide by 2024. Besides, we handle smartphones all the time, even when we seem to be focused on another screen. For example, 45% of U.S. adults use gadgets most of the time while watching TV. Multitasking is booming as devices are getting more omnipresent. What’s business to do with that?

Divide and Rule

It would be unwise to ignore additional gadgets or resent the wrong screens. Therefore, business should make them a part of the marketing strategy. Complimentary screens can provide different functionalities depending on goals:

  • First screen control - providing access to what happens on the first screen, create interaction between several devices;
  • Selection and discovery - using complementary devices to select preferred content and control its playback;
  • Enrichment - offering additional material related to the content on the first screen or enhanced interactivity.

The consumers get an opportunity to see more shots, to participate in quizzes and surveys, to have a real-time chat with each other or even purchase some goods.

The situation when a viewer gets distracted by another screen can be used by various industries involving demonstration: show industry, sports and fitness app development, education, TV app development, film industry, game streaming, video blogging. The technology has a strong commercial potential.

Positive Impacts on Business

The level of customer engagement has never been higher. While users watch a broadcast, they could discover supplementary content on the second screen. Along with content selection and real-time activities, it will improve the content and usability of the first-screen devices. As a result, the users will feel more privileged and valued.

That would not only enrich the broadcasting but be used for commercial purposes. Add native advertisements, offer merch or other relevant goods or services. The joy of recognition triggers and increases the probability of purchase. Complimentary screens empower product placement.

Sports fans prefer more interactive experience rather than simply watching a game. An additional screen gives them an opportunity to see more, to watch replays, or discuss the event with other enthusiasts involved. This could fix the traditionally poor usability of TV screens.

Students and participants of educational seminars can take their studies to a new interactive level as well. Getting bored is a natural tendency though education entities could benefit from it. Offer your audience a virtual Q&A session, a game, or simply additional material that is absent in the main presentation. You’ll get a higher engagement again and appreciation of your services.

Assessing the Challenges

The changes in customers’ behavior look promising for business. Nonetheless, content makers have faced a serious challenge of providing complimentary content and activities for second screens. There are no objections to greater user engagement through additional synchronized options though it implies tedious work and investments. It’s also important to provide second-screen apps for all possible gadgets.

The ecosystem of the additional-screen content has not been regulated yet. Electronic Service Guides need additional mandates in case of their shift to complementary screens. Besides, several market leaders could overdo with complementary apps in order to leave their competitors behind.

As the demand for complementary apps is growing, we shouldn’t underestimate the value of custom solutions. Each content type has its own specifications and objectives. Moreover, users’ habits are still evolving and it would be very complicated to follow them in time with ready-made solutions that are not quite flexible.

The opportunities of the second screen are immense. As usual, the early adopters are creaming off the most loyal and engaged audience. If you’ve already realized the power of the tool and need prompt consulting with technical experts, Fively is always in touch.

Software Solutions for Custom eCommerce Development | Fively
Get a custom solution to boost your retail business.

Need Help With A Project?

Drop us a line, let’s arrange a discussion

Palina Trokhautsava's Picture

Hello! I'm Palina, a content specialist at Fively. In my well-penned articles, you can find many exciting things about modern web development and IT business.

Read more

Success Stories

Our engineers had formed a solid tech foundation for dozens of startups that reached smashing success. Check out some of the most remarkable projects!

Social Networking App Development: KnowApp

Social Networking App Development: KnowApp

We implemented a social networking app development project to create a video-based event and content calendar enabling 100% direct celebrities-fans interaction.

Identity-Access Management Automation: Uniqkey

Identity-Access Management Automation: Uniqkey

We have created an identity and access management automation system that is recommended for use even by the association of Danish Auditors.

B2B Insurance Claims Automation

B2B Insurance Claims Automation

We have developed an insurance claims automation solution, which robotically validates 80% of all insurance claims with no human involvement.

A Chrome Extension for Invoice Workflow Processing: Garmentier

A Chrome Extension for Invoice Workflow Processing: Garmentier

Fively created a chrome extension for invoice workflow processing that provided customers with a personalized experience and allowed to increase sales up to 77%.

Medical Resource Management Application: AviMedical

Medical Resource Management Application: AviMedical

Fively has developed a cutting-edge custom medical resource management app for a chain of modern practices caring about numerous patients across Germany.

CRM Customization and Configuration: Volt

CRM Customization and Configuration: Volt

We have provided our CRM customization services to the company, that electrifies dozens of widely-known music festivals all across Europe.

Patient Management Platform: SNAP

Patient Management Platform: SNAP

Our engineers have developed a patient management platform that makes well-considered decisions based on artificial intelligence algorithms.

Insurance Workflow Automation Solution

Insurance Workflow Automation Solution

Fively developed an insurance workflow automation solution that combines all steps from purchasing a policy to filing a claim and makes it a 5-minute procedure.

Web Platform Customization: WebinarNinja

Web Platform Customization: WebinarNinja

Fively has provided web platform customization for #1 rated webinar platform by HubSpot, which makes it real to start your very first webinar in less than 10 seconds.

Privacy Policy

Thank You

Thank You!

Excited to hear from you! We normally respond within 1 business day.



Sorry, there was a problem. Please try again.


Thank You!

Now you are the first to know valuable industry insights and software development trends.

Your Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. To find out more, read our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.

Privacy Settings

We would like your permission to use your data for the following purposes:


These cookies are required for good functionality of our website and can’t be switched off in our system.


We use these cookies to provide statistical information about our website - they are used for performance measurement and improvement.


We use these cookies to enhance functionality and allow for personalisation, such as live chats, videos and the use of social media.


These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners.

© 2024. All rights reserved