Here's a piece of research for you, thanks to the Wall Street Journal: a Nielsen study showed that 70% of tablet owners and 68% of smart phone operators said they used these devices while watching television.
Now we're about to enjoy new apps to interact in even more ways. IntoNow, Showtime Social, and Shazam let you interact with what's on TV. Showtime Social polls viewers during the show, Shazam displays behind-the-scenes footage, and IntoNow features live discussions and social network updates.
Each has different applications and limitations, but the idea is always the same. To help you get more involved in the television content, share it with others, ad enjoy the experience in a whole new way.
How do you feel when you watch the show? Showtime Social lets you choose happy, shocked, sad, or angry. Shazam lets you know things about the content; the music, for example. IntoNow can give you football statistics.
One question is how does this affect marketing, and more specifically, advertising?
Do these apps really help you get more involved in the content, or do they pull you away from the content? I suppose in a football game, you can get your stats any time, between plays. Or would you access them during the break, when you could be watching the commercials? And to complicate things more, what happens to the commercials on the apps themselves? Will we watch them because we made an effort to get there, or will that be the time we go back to our TV sets?
Is TV less personal than an app? Probably. If "the medium is the message", which will influence us more?
With so many boring ads on television, I can understand reaching for your cellphone. Television is trying to become more personal, with so many channels and programs to choose from. But the commercials aren't. So when we try to reach people on their cellphones, they go to Facebook.
When will we learn?