The news that TV viewers aren’t giving the shows they watch their full attention isn’t exactly news. Mashable was reporting on the second screen trend way back in 2013. Their predictions that TV content producers would thrive by creating second screen content to enhance the programming hasn’t exactly panned out; eMarketer reports that only a quarter of current second screeners do this, compared with the three-fourths that use their second device to text friends, view social media, or shop online.
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There’s only so much connecting and shopping people want to do. A significant amount of second screen time is devoted to gaming. Playing games is a fun alternative to seeing your high school friends’ thoughts on politics or shopping – especially when you don’t necessarily have money to spend. Games consistently appear on the top of the most popular apps for both iOS and Android devices; TechCrunch reports that smartphone users spend up to 10% of their daily device usage time gaming.
What does this mean for your business?
Ideally, you’d like to be positioned to reach your customers no matter how they direct their second-screen time. This means maintaining a robust social media presence as well as being sure your website is fully prepared to serve shoppers. Additionally, there’s room to consider where mobile games fit in your marketing mix.
Everyone likes to play games. Research has shown us that affluent, college educated people are enthusiastic fantasy sports players; the appeal of games like Candy Crush and Words with Friends has proven to extend to all demographic groups. Young and old, male and female, affluent and aspiring – everyone plays games. A big part of games’ appeal lies in the fact that mobile games provide an arena in which people can be successful and feel good: compare that to what appears in daily headlines and the draw of a little fun escapism becomes clear.
Businesses can connect with their customers via games in a number of ways. Some games rely on in-game advertising to generate revenue; depending on your audience demographics and budget, this may make sense for you. Another option is to provide your customers directly with game play experiences they’ll enjoy and will remember; building positive brand associations ever time your customer zones out on the Law and Order marathon and picks up their phone to play.