vendredi 30 septembre 2011

Multitasking + Multiscreen = MultiScreenTasking

Let’s attempt a neologism: "MultiScreenTasking". Such factorization describes the new situation of television. TV viewers do many things at the same time with many screens. Much of multitasking involving TV is also multiscreening, it is also transmedia.

Mise à jour 5 janvier 2012

It has always been an issue with the media: listening to the radio while reading a magazine, driving a car, having breakfast, doing homework... or… reading a paper while listening to the radio, to music, etc. TV, in turn, developed a new kind of multitasking: reading the TV guide, knitting or having dinner in front of the TV.
Multitasking means putting more activities in a given time period, simultaneusly. Two or more activities in one unit of time. Does this mean sharing attention between two activities or doubling attention capacity? Marketing prefers TV only; or Web or magazine only, assuming that multitasking allocates less time to commercials. Of course, there might be a dominant task and a secondary one. TV viewing has always involved multitasking, but this multitasking activity has only been measured by declarative surveys (time budget).

It happens when people look at two or more screens at the same time and when messages resonate from one screen to another. Of course, there might be a dominant screen and an ancillary screen. TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone. ebook: screens of all sizes generate a multiscreen experience. TV is intensified, completed, explained, explored by another screen, smaller but more connected, with interactive capacities thanks to apps: a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet (iPad). And this seems to be good for advertising; according to a Google/Nielsen/CBS study, it increases awareness and likability.

Transmedia is what happens when a story (as in storytelling) is spreading beyond one single media, generally beyond one single screen, beyond one single platform. It might increase engagement for people who are following the story from one platform to another. In such a case, media are less simultaneous and there is almost no multitasking.

Why and how to MultiScreenTask? Social TV is the thing this year!
First and foresmost, TV MultiScreenTasking means going social with Facebook, Twitter or Google+: social TV viewing called sometimes "Facebookisation of television". See, for examples, Tunerfish,, i.TV, SnappyTV, Into-Now (bought by Yahoo!), Yap.TV Social TV Guide, SocialGuide, Clipsync, etc. Comcast is testing a Facebook app for cable TV, Squrl, personal IPG, integration with social networks.
TV is not an isolated media anymore: it is less and less uniquely family. The TV experience is extended beyond home, beyond kids and parents (“audience conjointe”, TF1). It is enlarged to include your "friends". Instead of passive TV audience, marketing deals with active viewers. TV was a mass media, multiscreentasking transforms it into a massive personal media.
TV was already pretty much "social" at its beginning (Cf. Dinah Washington, the "Queen of the Blues", 1953, "TV is the thing this year"), but that is another story ;-) !

  • Navigate, choose programs, bookmark: remote control, interactive progam guides, TV Forecast, TV Schedules, ZAP2>it, buddyTV, TeeVlog, Yidio, ZeeboxPeel, Dijit, Zapitano, etc.
  • Puts TV viewers on TV: YouToo, which claims to be "the first social TV network", allows people to show off. "Be on TV", "Be Seen on TV", "Be social about TV": the three commandments for multiscreentasking TV!  "Sign up to be a star"says TV Dinner!
  • Track shows online: sideReel, GetGlue (integrated into DirecTV) 
  • Search, find, recommend: Gracenote eyeQ, SeaChange (recommendation engine), Blinkx, ("powered by your friends"), iblbblr (conversation, recommendation)
  • Vote: iPowow scoring system, Live Talkback (social TV, participation and voting, clap or boo programs: “involve your audience”) 
  • Play:  see Intrasonics SDK for mobile apps
  • Tag a show or a commercial to get more content or advertising: Shazam for TV, uhuhh
  • Shop, buy, pay, download discount coupons: Ding Ding Youhui (BesTV, Shanghai), shopkick (avec le network CW)
  • Explain, inform, complete, share: TVCheck (Orange), Miso, an app that synchronizes with "Dexter" (Showtime), TV Foundry (AT and T/U-Verse), Umami ("Your TV companion")
  • Manage recording: ("Ihr persönliches Online-Videoarchiv"), TiVO
  • Interact with fictional characters and friend Zelda ("Legend of Zelda", the videogame), Kurt Hummel ("Glee") or Severus Snape ("Harry Potter"): cf. SocialSamba.
What kind of analytics do we need for multiscreentasking? Do we need audience measurement for each of the screens? Probably not: instead of audience (passive by definition), these companion apps bring actions. Actions speak for themselves. One needs new kinds of tools to analyse conversations and sentiments about programs (see Trendrr, for instance), one needs new kinds of tools to analyse viewing acts (as in "speech acts"). Multiscreentasking does more than increase pure and simple frequency: it increases not only the number but also the density of impressions (acceleration effect). 
How is attention shared between screens? The math of attention can be estimated, since only one sense is at play, vision. What is the path of the eyes between screens? We could  draw screen graphs, modelize the dynamics of actions:  a new kind of social graphs.

Note also that
  • The living room wall could become a huge screen: NDS Surfaces brings multiscreentasking to a new dimension. One screen for a major TV program and many other screens on a wall where one can watch, at the same time, news, weather, interactive widgets, OTT apps, etc. The viewer can change the size of the different screens with the remote (tablet). 
  • TV programs are usually divided in scripted and unscripted programs: the unscripted part is now on another screen, personalized. 
  •  Multiscreentasking is hyper engagement (hyper activity?); it does not affect our downtime, but it might affect our opportunity to daydream while watching TV. And daydreaming is probably where ideas, new decisions, creativity come from ... 
  • Comments about TV (TV Genome data) can be used by advertisers or TV networks (cf. bluefin Labs)
  • According to McLuhan's classification of media, TV was "cool"; is multiscreentasking making it a "hot" media?
  • And to go even further: people used to talk to their TV set (loud "dialog" or interior speech, "sous-conversation"); with multiscreentasking, they do more than just talk, they actually do something to the TV. A new behavioral psychology of engagement is to be invented. 
  • How about radio? Could Nielsen's PPM play a role in a cross-platform strategy?

4 commentaires:

Raluca Mocanu a dit…

It feels like television is searching a new position in the ranking of telecommunication mediums that it almost lost when Internet, Broadcasting sites, Social Networks appeared. With this 'multiscreentasking', I think television will be recovering and growing a lot, it will definitely be more captivating for its viewers having such a wide range of activities.

I find iPowow! as an amazing application for any organization. Having the audience's feedback in real time is the best way to improve your products according to your target's needs. Still, it's a pretty new app and still unexplored as I see, but I am sure this will fastly emerge to every country and this kind of making media will penetrate the industry soon. It will also be a successful instrument during political campaigns for candidates to test their popularity and their number of voters.
All these new technologies that involve the prospects and also the committed clients to actively participate in the campaigns and share their opinions and their activities (I refer here to Shazam with the social media integrated) have the great benefit of touching a very wide public. It's not only your viewers that are reaching your ads but also their friends and their whole network of online friends and people that are following them online.
I think that the most evident way of measuring the audience, in this case, will be the active participation of the viewers, their implication in using all these new apps and the communication to each other, giving feedbacks and advices to the advertisers. The ''acceleration effect'' has probably the highest importance because what could be more efficient than having multiplied effects with the same amount of effort?!

Anonyme a dit…

Multiscreentasking would not change the "cool" classification of television, according to Marshall McLuhan's classification system. He claimed that the extraction of information and value from cool media required audiences to actively participate and engage their brains, whereas hot media required less participation because of its ability to highlight and focus on one of the five senses available to members of the audience.

Users who partake in multiscreentasking are hyperengaged in the activity, which requires them to pay more attention to the tasks at hand. Instead of just watching television and putting the pieces of the stories together, they are engaging themselves in the story (ie: with SocialSamba). In this way, the medium of television would continue to require users to actively use their brains to extract information, as opposed to leaving them watching passively and being given all the information needed.

However, multiscreentasking would not necessarily be an improvement to the way audiences consume and make connections with the media. As mentioned in the above post, the hyperengagement of audiences has the possibility of affecting our opportunity to daydream while watching TV or to passively be entertained without the exertion of too much effort. In my opinion, multiscreentasking may even have a detrimental effect on the attention span of audiences. Rather than allowing the audience to really concentrate on one thing at a time, several different screens showing several different pieces of information (news, weather, television series etc) are available at once and users may become less attentive and extract information less accurately.


Noémie Rossier a dit…

The television is still one of the most interesting traditional mediums for me. It allows to do many things. Actually, we know that people are captivated by emotions, sounds, pictures; all of these things are possible with the television. The only problem is that people are often passive in front of their TV: they don't remember the brand or the product they ve just seen. Instead, I think multitasking or multiscreening are a really good way to complete it. We know that reptition is a good way to remind something (Gross rating point). Thus, if people often see the product on different mediums, they'll probably remember it. So multitasking or multiscreening are not "killing" the television, but improving it.

#Charles_226 a dit…

De nombreuses transformations sont encore à venir au niveau de la convergence des médias et de la monétisation des contenus, notamment avec la Steambox annoncée il y a peu.

Steam, leader du jeux vidéo dématérialisé sur pc, souhaite en effet sortir une machine sous Linux qui pourra être utilisée comme un serveur et afficher sur plusieurs écrans de PC ou de télévisions. Cet outil va donc bien au delà de la console traditionnelle.
Encore à l'étude, une manette dotée d'un système biométrique qui permettrait de développer des systèmes de reconnaissance de l'identité, des besoins et des émotions (par un système de réception de signaux).