How to Create a Second Screen Experience for Netflix

August 19, 2015 | Rob LaPointe

How to Create a Second Screen Experience for Netflix
How to Create a Second Screen Experience for Netflix

Second screen experiences (SSE) are swiftly becoming the next big thing. Essentially, the SSE is aimed at TV viewers looking to enhance their TV watching via another monitor, usually a tablet or a SmartPhone. SDI’s market strategists have been tracking this tech trend for a while and we’ve realized there are certain aspects to a SSE that attract users.

A second screen enhances UX in many ways, by providing a digital space for users to discuss what is occurring on the main screen to offering additional show details, trivia and games. An SSE turns watching TV into a social, interactive and shareable event – all three things that the modern consumer absolutely adores.

Take the recent Republican debate in the US – nearly 24 million people tuned into Fox to watch it. Nearly 10 million people signed into the SSE hosted by Facebook. That’s up 190% from the 3.3 million people who tuned into the same debate in 2012.

What Roger Ailes (president of Fox News) has done is demonstrated how an SSE can revitalize television medium and drive on-air engagement. The market has spoken: people want the TV to be more interactive. It’s clearly still want to watch TV – if anything, the number of people watching TV has grown exponentially.

With streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, more people have more access to shows than any other time since the television was created. Right now, there are no quality SSE apps for either streaming service – an opportunity just waiting for the right entrepreneur.

It is also clear that users want to enhance their TV viewing experience. People want to talk about the recent controversial Trump comment or discuss the stats of their favorite athletes. With so many shows out there, there are a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities waiting for the right SSE.

SDI creates apps that are built for the average entrepreneur with a few extra investment bucks lying around. We specialize iPad app development for SMB, startups entrepreneurs and enterprise.

Let’s take a look at what makes a successful SSE, and some examples that are really hitting it out of the park.

This is What Winning Looks Like

85% of Americans use their SmartPhone or Tablet in front of their TV. Since nearly 97% of all Americans own a TV, you’re looking at a market of nearly every American. While this is fantastic from an available market perspective, it makes creating a targeted product much more difficult.

One of the pitfalls a lot of SSE apps fall into is making a product that doesn’t answer the needs of their users. Disney Second Screen provides an excellent example of how best to avoid this mistake. Disney created not just one second screen, but multiple modules for all of its shows. This allows users to access a relevant second screen, depending on what they are watching on the first screen.

Disney understands that people generally only use a few apps on their phones (despite having many downloaded) and that all of your programmings should go through one app. Consolidation not only decreases user frustration, but it can also drive engagement to under-utilized features or shows.

That being said, it should be understood why people use their second screen. There are a few reasons, but there is one that people tend to forget: boredom. Most users get onto a second screen because they are bored with whatever happens to be on the first screen.

Knowing why users come to a second screen is essential. For a good example of market research, look no further than AMC’s The Walking Dead. Known for rebooting the Zombie genre in an intelligent and dramatic manner, the SSE for this famous show allows users to experience the show together. The SSE app includes items like live polling, story explanation, trivia games, and more. It’s no wonder that this app is frequently held up as the ultimate SSE.

A good SSE doesn’t just provide a unique option to complement the first screen experience but also lets users connect to their social media sites, their email accounts and a variety of other options all while staying in-app. Furthermore, allowing people to access SM sites increases sharing – a free marketing avenue for your app.

Another thing to keep in mind when designing an SSE app is that it is the second screen. Too many apps fail by trying to take dominance away from the first screen. A good SSE is one that enhances the first, without challenging its primacy. Most SSE apps have the standard features down pat. Where they messed up is when they go to add a unique feature – and it fails.

Of course, entrepreneurs should definitely strive for uniqueness, but a balance between unique and overwhelming must be struck. Take, for instance, CW’s SSE app for the show The Vampire Diaries. CW’s app has all of the general features associated with an SSE app, with one killer twist.

This clever addition is a screen capture and caption feature. This handy tool allows users to capture screenshots from the show (thus interacting with the TV program) and create captions to share with other app users (creating a shareable moment that drives engagement and can bring in new business).

Other notable SSE ventures are those of NASCAR and pretty much any sport ever. The Diffusion Group (TDG) is a research group that specializes in broadband media and their most recent report was provocatively entitled “Second Screens and the Future of Sports Engagement.”

This report predicts that within the next 10 years, the revenue from second screen platforms is expected to be nearly $400 million, more than twice what it is today. This is because sports viewers like to watch replays, keep up on previous games relevant to the one they are watching, and keep track of player data. SSE increases user loyalty and brand awareness by providing sports lovers, especially fantasy league players, a second avenue to keep track of their favorite players and teams.

SSE are even better for networks and TV programmers. Analytics are the tools of the modern age. They give webmasters and advertisers the ability to track a user throughout the entire app. This lets marketers know what on the app is working, what is not and what could work better. It even can generate data that leads to targeted ads and content – both strategies that are proven to drive leads and improve revenue.

Feeling a little lost? Well, in the tradition of one of Disney’s second screens, Hakuna Matata – no worries. Software Developers India is around for the sole purpose of helping SMB and entrepreneurs realize their tech dream. We’re Silicon Valley’s premium second screen app developers specializing in iPad apps for a second screen experience.

SDI knows how to create a second screen experience that will blow your users away. Get in touch now for a free consultation and quote. You can also call us on 408.805.0495

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