Gone are the days when TV was a passive viewing experience. As our world becomes more connected, TV viewing habits are changing. We are increasingly using connected portable devices, to watch/live stream shows and also to access related content online or via apps on the go. At Viacom International Media Networks (MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount), we are seeing this with our audience.

They are multi-screening; using connected second screen devices, including smartphones, PCs and tablets, to SMS, instant message and access social networking sites, in order to communicate and share links whilst watching linear TV.

Tablets however are the second screen really revolutionising how we consume content. They don’t have the limitations of other connected devices when it comes to viewing entertainment content; they offer a far richer media experience than a smartphone and are more portable and intuitive than laptops.

Tablets enable viewers to watch content anytime, anywhere and can be seen as an extension of the TV itself. They enable the viewer to have a more immersive experience when viewing content, allowing fans to search for information and make the TV experience more personal through interaction with their favourite shows, via apps or online.

At Viacom International Media Networks we have a multi-platform strategy around all of our shows and have developed apps to cater for all audiences. We are seeing that children as early as the Nick Junior/pre-school audience are starting to use tablet devices. These children lack the keyboard and mouse dexterity required to use a computer, but are able to use a tablet’s touchscreen.

With the proliferation of tablet devices currently hitting the market and their decreasing price, more and more people will own one of their own. Usage of the tablets will be tailored according to personal taste and viewing preferences, meaning that the TV experience will become more interactive and immersive than ever before.

O’Ferrall speaks on April 4’s Digital Distribution panel (15.15, Esterel), with Mind Candy, Channel 4 and SeeSaw.com

About Author

As Head of Social Media for Reed MIDEM, James Martin oversees social strategy and deployment for B2B events MIPTV and MIPCOM, Midem (music industry) and MIPIM & MAPIC (real estate & retail). He is based in Reed MIDEM's Paris office.

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