Monetise this: the connected experience


Great connected experiences have already been successfully monetised, but since they are not common, you may not be aware of them. Whereas Fluxx’s white paper examines the barriers and opportunities for the connected experience in detail, this blog explores several approaches that have succeeded in generating additional revenues and enhancing the 30-second TV spot.

Giving consumers second screen experiences which enhance specific programmes or events and raise revenue incrementally through in-app advertising can help increase revenues and deepen customer loyalty. CBS’s Super Bowl 2013 companion (second screen) app provided consumers with features that extensive research revealed they wanted. These included 5 different camera angles viewers could choose from, providing unique content for viewers watching the game on TV. One was voted for by fans and changed throughout the game. Another allowed football fans to see the entire field of play for the first time, footage that had previously only been available to NFL teams after games.


Viewers were able to replay moments that they wanted to see again through pause and replay functionality, rather than being restricted to those chosen by the broadcaster. The app also provided fans with a wealth of detailed realtime stats which the live TV broadcast could not deliver.  Super Bowl ads are an event in themselves for the American audience, but have not been available online until after the game in previous years. CBS made all televised adverts available during this year’s game, though not synchronised to the broadcast, and also streamed Beyonce’s half-time performance. This provided content for a wider non-sporting audience to enjoy.


These enhanced services drove viewers to engage with the second screen application and allowed CBS to charge rates for second screen advertising estimated to be between the high six and low seven figures. Overall, the second screen was expected to generate between $10 and $12million in revenues.

Another older, but very effective example of monetisation was Channel 4’s New Look’s Style The Nation*. This ad funded programme (AFP) successfully enhanced key brand metrics and generated purchases via an integrated second screen experience. The live reality fashion show was commissioned for C4’s T4 weekend youth strand and funded as part of New Look’s marketing strategy in 2011. Though New Look product placement within the show had to be limited, and complemented with products from rivals, the second screen featured New Look items only. Viewers were rewarded with increasingly higher value discount vouchers as their levels of engagement increased. They were encouraged to put together themed outfits and submit them to the show for a live catwalk, as well as participating in a competition and voting for contestants on a weekly basis. They could also ‘Get The Look’ at specific moments in the show as the second screen app integrated with New Look’s e-commerce site, and deep links in the app allowed the purchase of any item. Online purchasing was complemented by discount vouchers to drive in-store purchasing. The primary goal for this AFP was in fact not sales, but brand fame. After a six-week run key brand metrics were shown to have improved by up to 20% in independent research by SPA Future Thinking, viewers ‘tried on’ over 700,000 New Look items using an interactive mannequin and significant sales were generated.


Returning to this year’s Super Bowl, Coca-Cola extracted the maximum value from its spots by extending the adverts via an engaging second screen application. The 30-second TV spots were estimated to cost $3.75million and several advertisers sought to do the same via the second screen. The Coca-Cola Chase advert kicked-off with a slapstick race through the desert by Showgirls, Badlanders and Cowboys to win a giant bottle of Coke. Viewers were pointed to a website optimised for smartphones,, and encouraged to back one team, and sabotage the others. The silent second-screen clips were ideal for the noisy context, watching a major live football game with friends or family. The pay-off for people who took part was a final TV spot at the end of the game that showed the ending that won the most votes.


Sky Go is a great example of generating additional revenue and defending existing revenues from rivals. This ‘TV Anywhere’ model allows Sky to generate additional incremental revenue through advertising on the second screen service and to increase its ARPU (additional revenue per user) through its Multiroom subscription option. Customers can consume TV content on a range of connected devices in the home, or on the move outside of the home. It also enhances customer retention by providing a valued additional service that leads to increased TV content consumption through Sky services. Sky has also opened up opportunities in the 16million non-Sky homes by allowing non-Sky customers to subscribe to Sky Go, or to pay-to-view, without signing up for a dish installation.

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Sky intends to use its customer data to support a new addressable advertising product in 2013 which will use household level data to deliver relevant ads. The personal nature of the second screen experience, be it on smartphone or tablet, where the consumer is signed-in to the service, allows for advertising to be targeted to the individual, rather than at the household level. This should result in more effective advertising as consumers receive adverts they feel are relevant to them, which should lead to better advertising rates for the broadcaster.

TV Anywhere services, enhanced second screen programme features and second screen extensions of TV ad spots are a few of the ways in which the connected experience is being successfully monetised. Fluxx’s white paper explores other monetisation options already in practice, and points to future models for monetising the increasingly popular second screen.

* During my time as Head of Production for Monterosa, I played a key role in the development and delivery of the TV format and second screen experience. The show was developed in the light of Ofcom regulations changing to allow paid-for references to brands and services in programmes for the first time, i.e. product placement. There were some invaluable lessons learnt, so if you’d like to know more drop me a line at