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Has the Second Screen Become the First? | Mansfield Inc.

Mansfield Inc.

On wakening each morning, I don’t switch on my TV. Instead, I reach for my iPhone (yes, it stays in bed with me) and I catch up on the local news and scroll through my notifications on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. When I think about it, I mostly watch Netflix on my tablet, and several days can indeed pass before I really begin to miss the ‘first’ screen altogether.

But I’m not alone. There’s a definite shift in the way we consume content, and I thought this article from the UK news site ‘The Guardian’ nicely summarized just how often we use multiple screens. It cites that 76 per cent of simultaneous device usage is spent viewing completely unrelated content to what’s on TV. Perhaps this is a testament to our lowered attention spans; admittedly, whenever I watch a TV show, I find myself drawn to tweets about the program, or completely unrelated, respond to messages or Facebook posts.

On the flipside, as much as I can relate to present media-consumption trends, I appreciate the struggles presented by ‘second screen’ adoption. After all, we’re working to connect with those that are increasingly disengaged. It’s interesting to learn that the average Canadian’s daily distribution of screen minutes according to KPCB is: TV (104); Laptop and PC (97); Smartphone (124); Tablet (51). The number of ‘second screen’ minutes clearly forces us to consider: which screen really is the ‘first’ one?

Do you agree that the ‘first screen’ has been overtaken by the ‘second’ and find yourself distracted? Or, conversely do you find that second screen content engages you with brands and online audiences that you otherwise would not?

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