Why the connected experience revolution is yet to be televised

Imagine watching TV with your family and friends and effortlessly being able to see who an actor is, or what else they were in, without trekking around the web looking for the info. Or taking part in a quiz show, voting for Man of the Match or giving your opinion to a TV pundit, without having to pick up the phone or write an email. How about doing something really useful with the ads like requesting a sample for a new cereal or winning Tesco’s vouchers? Or taking a breakfast news feature with you on your morning commute, so you can watch the rest of it?

Not everybody wants to do any of this, but an increasingly large number of us do, and at this point, everyone should be able to. It would benefit consumers, broadcasters, device manufacturers, retailers and media agencies. Yet the connected experience, where it appears, offers only disconnected fragments of the vision above.

Connected experiences which seamlessly fuse second screens and connected TVs have been ‘the future of TV’ for so long it almost feels like a returning series. Despite the enablers and technology being in place this seismic shift in the viewing experience stubbornly refuses to mainstream. Why is this?

There are three dimensions to the failure of connected TV and second screen to live up to the excitement and visions they have generated: the consumer, the broadcast industry and connected device technology.

Consumers lag behind the broadcast industry in their behaviours and understanding, which leads to low uptake for connected entertainment experiences with a TV focus, though it is increasing. The broadcast industry lags behind the current capabilities of connected device technology and the agencies that understand it. Established linear formats and commissioning practices form obstacles that need to be overcome. Connected device technology itself undermines its own potential through a lack of standards, fragmentation of platforms, poor performance and poor usability. Fluxx’s white paper examines these dimensions in depth.

Here at Fluxx we believe there are great opportunities ahead for courageous clients to unlock the unrealised value of the connected dream, despite the issues. If you doubt this, consider just one aspect of the connected experience: Social TV. Nielsen – a global information and measurement company – and Twitter agreed a new metric in December 2012 for Social TV audience measurement, the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. In addition, Facebook is working in partnership with Nielsen to develop Nielsen Online Campaign ratings. These developments indicate a serious and credible intent to pursue TV advertising as a revenue stream. Establishing Social TV metrics and unlocking advertising dollars would ignite the second screen sector.

The white paper explores the issues that underpin the fragmented reality, the steps needed to accelerate progress and what’s required to live the dream. It has been drawn up for broadcasters, content producers, agencies, device manufacturers, brands and retailers with media interests.

There is a great opportunity in this space right now to experiment with new models and test these with consumers. Ease of use and supporting familiar behaviours will be essential elements of a successful outcome, and the quality of the consumer experience will be as important as the effectiveness of the technological execution for mass adoption. Fluxx can support clients in developing multiscreen strategies and product innovation to realise the connected dream.

The future looks rewarding, the future is connected.