It’s tempting to rush out and build a check-in app, a social EPG or a Twitter aggregator and see what happens. Nevertheless, practice shows that a well thought through second screen concept has a better chance of success.

Based on our extensive experience in technology, media and creative industry and lessons learned from powering hundreds of millions of second screen and game sessions, we know what works and what doesn’t. And we will not hesitate to tell you in order to create a great second screen concept.

From our point of view, the key objective for a second screen project is not to be built, or to get good usage numbers. The key objective is to contribute to the bottom line and the strategic objectives of the stakeholders: Engagement and Monetization.

We’ve bundled our lessons as the 5 M’s of second screen:

Moment

TV has always been great about creating anticipation, building tension, about wanting to witness a story as it happens. Momentum can now be extended to online, and unlike conventional online wisdom that everything shall be on demand, plenty of successs stories point point in the other reaction. Another crucial element of the moment is synchronization: the second screen should be aligned

Meaning

If you plan for a second screen project, think about how it can best add value to the viewer. People expect certain functionality, which is usually tied to the domain. In some cases offering statistics and background stories in sync with a programme is enough, but in most people expect more. Interaction, competition, having an impact on what you see on TV often are more meaningful and, therefore, successful. But be careful on timing and dosage.

PlayToTV Crowd

Massive

Man is a social animal. If large groups of people get together, we’re drawn to it. The excitement you feel being in a stadium full of people is different from a pub which is different from a living room. Social networks combined with scheduled events and interactivity combine something personal and interactive with being part of a communal experience. Making an event out of TV is a powerful idea.

Multiplatform

Plenty of media companies launch an iPhone app and call it a mobile strategy. We’ve done projects with 75% percent using a smartphone. We’ve done projects where 80% used a laptop. In other words, if you create and distribute your first screen content to reach as many people as possible, your second screen should do too.

Monetize

The key objective for a second screen project is not to be build, or to get good usage numbers. The key objective is to contribute to the bottom line and the strategic objectives of the stakeholders. It is important to keep these in mind when creating the second screen concept, and to realize that the business model is never done. The great thing about today is that because the second screen runs on the internet, we the metrics, we have the tools to increase effectiveness of advertising, integrate with retail, to drive conversion. Monetizing the second screen is a huge business opportunity and those who prepare for it the best will reap great benefits.