I usually watch T.V. with a laptop on my lap. Not just to email and Facebook, etc., but to cross-reference, check IMDB, and add a layer of data to the T.V. I am watching. Because of the work we do at Room 214, I’m keenly aware of drive-to-web tactics within shows, and thus often scope out network websites to see the kinds of additional show-related content they are offering.
Everybody’s Doing It
Based on a Nielsen report on this concept of media multi-tasking, which is now often referred to as three screens (television, Internet and mobile), you can see that I am not the only person engaging in such behavior. I enjoy the distinction between Internet use while watching T.V and T.V. watching while using the Internet. If asked to prioritize, which one would you pick as the primary?
Three Screens in Action
To dig a bit deeper, I pulled together a Crimson Hexagon filter that looks at T.V. viewing mentioned through Twitter. The act of Tweeting while watching T.V. constitutes just two screens, but I was interested in what else people say they are doing. The volume is fairly high. Over 1500 people, every day, are tweeting about this. Though almost 50% of people tweeting were simply stating that they were watching T.V., it was the 15% who were acknowledging their multitasking who I was most interested in.
Accounting For The Three Screen User
The Twittersphere is conscious, or perhaps a bit self-conscious, about their multi-tasking. Plenty of people point out that they are both on Twitter and watching T.V., but plenty of people also point out that they are texting, networking, or on the web. So when you start to think about the impact of or buzz around a T.V. show, you need to take into account the online activities happening real-time around the television (or computer). This isn’t just opinions and reviews. This isn’t just email and Facebook distraction. This could be additional layers added on to a show, only available to those engaged in three screen habits. It’s worth considering the kind of content that YOU would want to consume to supplement your viewing, and also worth thinking about the new places you want to get T.V. content, whether that be information through Twitter or geo-located updates relevant to your favorite shows.
Lots of people are talking about this, so I’ll suggest a few posts for further consideration.