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TV and Tablet: Forging a Formidable Tag Team

June 12, 2013 By Michael Goldberg
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One of the many buzzwords proliferating the marketing industry these days is "second screen." Second-screen adoption is the term used to describe the consumer trend of using a smartphone or tablet while watching TV. With a third of U.S. consumers owning a tablet and more than 50 percent owning a smartphone, it's not surprising that TV viewing habits have changed drastically and quickly. 

According to Nielsen, 85 percent of mobile device owners use their tablet or smartphone while watching TV at least once per month, and 40 percent do so daily. Breaking that apart, 41 percent use a tablet while watching TV daily, and 39 percent use a smartphone. Think about your own TV viewing habits, and those numbers may actually seem low. How many of us haven't played that killer 99-point word in Words With Friends or checked email during a TV commercial or during a TV show itself? 

Let's consider what this behavior means for television advertisers.

Even before tablets and smartphones easily distracted us, DVRs made it easy to skip advertising altogether. This is obviously not good news for television advertisers who are spending big bucks to attract viewers. So what can advertisers do?  

Well, they may want to look at how one media company is seamlessly integrating the TV and tablet experience. Surprisingly, this media company isn't responsible for creating legendary characters like Mickey and Goofy, but instead bigger-than-life superstars like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker. 

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the company synonymous with burly men in tights hitting each other with steel chairs, has flawlessly integrated the television and tablet experience. WWE has effectively enhanced the viewing experience of its flagship television program, Monday Night Raw, bringing second-screen adoption to main event status.

Love it or hate it, professional wrestling has consistently been one of the top-rated programs on cable television. Millions tune in to see the scripted battles unfold every Monday night. But even Vince McMahon's wrestling empire hasn't been immune to grappling with ways to keep viewers engaged. WWE's fans aren't only socially active (WWE fully embraces Twitter and routinely broadcast fans’ live tweets during the program), they also tend to be early adopters of new technology.



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