Do your kids routinely use You Tube or other internet sites to watch cartoons or videos on demand? Do your kids use two devices at once – such playing Angry Birds on the iPod or iPad while listening to a TV show in the background?
Well those kids are exactly the type that Cartoon Network is after with its new watch-and-play app that millions have downloaded since its release in late 2012.
According to USA Today, Cartoon Network’s new app offers clips from more than 50 shows. There are also currently six games based on TV shows such as the very popular “Adventure Time.” (My kids love this show, and I can’t bear to watch it!)
Executives plan to introduce new cartoon characters on the app as well and those that “click” with kids may be added to the TV schedule.
On smaller devices, kids have to toggle between watching and playing but on the iPad they can have a split screen to watch and play at the same time.
“James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research and author of Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation, says Cartoon’s app is a great way to combat declining TV ratings.
” ‘If they start getting massive views for their shows on the iPad, they can start pressuring Nielsen to count iPad views in the TV ratings. It’s a smart bet for the future,’ McQuivey says.
“From where he sits, (Cartoon Network Digital Executive Chris) Waldron sees TVs remaining prominently in the picture. As he looks into the future living room — say, circa 2018 — kids are still sitting with their tablets, and the TV is still on. ‘There are a lot of people doing both at the same time now, but there will be more of that. TV manufacturers are introducing apps into their TVs, and that world where you seamlessly move back and forth between interactivity and watching TV will only increase.’ “
Kids aren’t alone in the multi-tasking of screen use. According to a Mashable article, some marketers say that between 70 to 80 percent of adults are using a second screen (either a phone or iPad) while watching TV at night.
Another Mashable article reported that 35 percent of Super Bowl viewers were using a secondary device at the same time.
“People have been open to the possibility of the measurements,” says Dean Donaldson, global head of media innovation at DG/Mediamind. “They’re looking for real-time — how many Facebook requests and how many comments we’re getting.”
“We can talk about television being accessed by multiple screens, and therefore the need to advertise on multiple screens equally follows suit — but that doesn’t speak to the mediums working together,” says Donaldson. “The fact is that when you’re sitting in front of your television at home, we’re seeing data as high as 70% or 80% that we’re using a smartphone or tablet while watching a television daily.”
DG/Mediamind is innovating to tap into users who are active on second screens during television — especially when that user is interested in gleaning information from the show and looking up content on the web. Recently, Mediamind has been packaging specialized ad serving programs that specifically work for a TV company’s mobile app. In short, when a user turns on the app, the server pushes relevant advertisements that are based on the television program at hand — effectively mitigating the challenges that arise when motivating a potential customer to take the next step to engagement. Instead of putting the onus on the viewer to take a step toward second-screen extras and ecommerce platforms, the company has developed an app that delivers carefully timed and synchronized pushes of content while a user is watching television. Donaldson says the advertisements can be controlled at a core level with the broadcasting system, and they can provide amazing depth to already-present advertisements.”
So here are my questions:
Does it bother you for a kid to be engaged on two screens – watching or playing or looking things up? Does it just indicate that the TV show they are watching isn’t that engaging?
Do your worry about it affect their attention span or does it show a greater control of attention to do both tasks at once?
Are your kids using two screens at once?
Are you using two screens at once? Do you think it’s healthy for adults? Does it reflect anything about our ability to be attentive or is it that the TV shows aren’t holding our attention or are you looking up complementary information to the show you are watching?
Would you want an app streaming you content or ads based on things you were watching on TV?
Are your kids using Cartoon Network’s new app?