Our morning started with a walk over to the Convention Center from our office. The goal was the 9:30 panel called “How to Monetize Second Screen”. It was hosted by two guys from Viggle and Mass Relevance. We find our own second screen product, ScreenDUET, to be uniquely positioned against these guys. However, we don’t have the requirement of being an App Store app (requires willingness to add another icon to a sea of home screen icons) or only limit our content creators to have the viewer conversation take place on another platform (Twitter).

It’s amazing how packed the room was and how there were no definitive answers to how second screen is going to make money for a) agencies or b) content providers.  It seems the TV models for viewer engagement are dramatically changing in a world of time shifting live TV viewing and the fine art of binge watching.  New rules will have to be made and brave content owners will have to pave new roads.  We are so excited about all of this.  The entire panel discussion seemed like validation for all of the hard work we’ve been doing over the past year and a half.  Maybe we were a little too early and our partners at ESPN were just ahead of the time, but second screen is a building force.

Some of the great insight came from some statistics that the Viggle and Mass Relevance guys decided to share.  We already know the power that second screen has in the 18-35 demo, but here are some numbers that are pretty incredible.

  • 85% of people use a tablet or phone while watching TV – Nielsen
  • 91% of 2nd screen users access asynchronous program content
  • 50% of smartphones and tablet users are on social media while viewing
  • $5.6 billion will be the amount of money generated by US in-app advertising – Parks Associates
  • $8.9 billion will be the size of the second screen industry by 2018

The lessons we took away from this is how our realtime synchronous platform and the complete disposability of our product (do you really need a “Walking Dead” second screen app on your phone forever), are both features that we are ahead of the curve on.  Most of the second screen guys are still just making apps or trying to create platforms that try to take the spotlight away from the true heroes of second screen, the content providers.

From this panel we went to sit in the Nate Silver / Bill Simmons panel on Media Branding.  We are very excited to see what the brilliant Nate Silver will deliver with his new 538 project.  The partnership with ESPN alone gives him access to content that he can analyze and mix into his pieces.  We expect wonderful things.

After the presentation was over, we made our way over to say hello to ESPN President, John Skipper.  We happened to be sitting just behind him.  We reiterated how much fun we’ve been having working with his people over the past few years.

We then headed over to the actors casting panel to visit one of our oldest and most faithful customers, Beth Sepko.  She was on a panel with other casting directors from LA and New York, to workshop and give tips to up and coming actors.  Beth, an Emmy Award winning casting director herself, has let us handle many business critical information systems over the years.  We love our customers and sitting in her panel for moral support, is the least we can do for the trust she’s given us.

The rain really has been a bit of a pain and hindered some of the walking around we’d be normally doing to see some of our partners (Hey Rackspace and Mashable!) or seeing some of the goofy SXSW promotional oddities.  We did however have just enough time to see Grumpy Cat and meet the little boy who is lovingly known as Success Kid.

(our CEO is the guy on the right.  our future CEO is on the left)

More panels to see tomorrow.  Come on Chamber of Commerce weather gods.  Make this rain stop.

FAMOUS PEOPLE WE’VE MET TODAY:  John Skipper, John Sculley, Rosario Dawson, Lily Allen