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Is second screening damaging the smart TV market?

30 Jan 2014  |  Ellen Hammett 
Is second screening damaging the smart TV market?

Second screening has made smart TVs largely redundant before they've even begun to be understood, according Research the Media's Richard Marks.

The comments were made at a MediaTel event this week - "How do you know if you are getting the most from your TV advertising?" - with Marks suggesting that tablets and smartphones have made one of the key selling points of an internet connected television less likely to be used.

"I suspect that the potential consumer demand for a lot of smart TV functionality may have been diminished by the arrival of the tablet and the development of smartphones - the second screens," Marks told Newsline.

"This means that a lot of the activities that viewers could have been doing on smart TVs - additional information, purchasing and browsing - are already able to be done more conveniently on second screens on viewers' laps or in their hands, rather than than having to learn how to get the TV to do it."

The fact that the main television in a household is often viewed in a communal, 'lean back' experience, has also had an impact on consumer behaviour, Marks argued.

"The second screen is more suited to individuals 'interacting' on a personal level," he added.

However, Marks said he does not think this will necessarily impact sales of smart TVs.

"I don't think that means that people won't buy smart TVs as the advantages of having a connected TV are obvious in terms of accessing TV services, but I think manufacturers need to be realistic about what consumers will actually use them for," he said.

"I think they will want to access TV services in as simple and convenient way as possible, not to use their TV screen like a giant tablet for other services.

"It's all about which screen is best suited for which activity."

The news comes just a week after Nigel Walley, MD of Decipher, said that the smart TV revolution has "failed" because proprietary operating systems, from manufacturers such as LG and Samsung, have created a market that leaves app developers little scope to experiment or keep pace with change.

Walley told Newsline that the key organisations making apps for smart televisions - such as ITV and Channel 4 in the UK - can't afford to keep experimenting alongside smart TV operators. In some cases it requires developing and releasing a new app each year, making it an expensive and slow venture for media owners.

To find out more about MediaTel events, click here.

See also: Is industry ready for multi-platform audience measurement?
How TV advertising should really be using social media

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