The explosive growth of online video viewing shows no signs
of abating. Almost a quarter of all video viewing in households with high-speed
Internet access now takes place on a device other than a television set.
When Internet-based video viewing first began to take off,
some wondered if TV programming would eventually be supplanted by content
produced and distributed solely online. But instead, the Internet became
another medium to distribute content produced primarily for television.
Something similar is happening with the second-screen phenomenon.
Consumer usage patterns are evolving over time, but it seems
clear that no one screen is replacing another. Instead, people are using
multiple screens—as many as four or even more—for a number of purposes.
In many cases, mobile devices serve as the first screen. At other times, the
television may be the primary screen, with viewers using mobile devices like
smartphones or tablets to access complementary content.
Some television content producers have leveraged the trend
by designing content like behind-the-scenes programming, sites containing more
information on popular characters and even alternative camera angles for the
second screen. Sports broadcasters may provide second-screen services to give
viewers a chat venue, sponsor prize competitions and deliver stats and insider
Complementary content can provide new revenue opportunities.
But the profusion of tablets and mobile devices and increase in online video
sharing on social media sites offer other opportunities and challenges for
content publishers who produce primary content. Online video sharing opens up
new possibilities for low-cost distribution and audience expansion. But it also
increases the incidence of video piracy and makes advertisers reluctant to
sponsor content distributed on channels that they cannot control.
The television content production industry and broadcasters
alike are looking for ways to reinforce and expand content distribution
channels, and automatic content recognition technology can be an ideal
solution. When content owners can identify content accurately, they not only enforce
rights and agreements while tracking usage but also provide new ways for users
to access video content wherever they are and whenever they want it.
For example, with an automatic content recognition
technology app, a consumer who is watching a television show at a friend's home
can snap a photo of the screen with a smartphone and instantly identify the
program and gain access to legitimate outlets where the user can resume viewing
on any screen—including a smartphone, tablet or television—anywhere.
As broadcasters and production companies take advantage of
these new technologies, it is no longer merely a question of which screen users
will view at what times; it's a matter of delivering television programming
everywhere, across all screens. The convergence of automatic content
recognition technology and mobility make it possible for the industry to
deliver programs and related content to viewers regardless of where or when
programs are viewed, and to do it automatically, without the viewer having to conduct
Thanks to new technology, the industry is moving beyond the
second screen. Multiple screens will meet user needs according to their unique
preferences, and since it's now possible to automatically identify content,
user devices and locations, content publishers will know where, when and how
users are accessing programming.
In the new broadcasting world beyond the second screen, the
application of that knowledge is limited only by publishers' imaginations.
Vobile is a
worldwide provider of video and audio content identification, analytics and
management services. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with
additional offices in China, Japan and Singapore.