Television is changing almost beyond recognition. In the battle for consumers, social media sites, smart phones and tablets have become rivals to traditional linear TV. However, audiences and producers are also embracing mobile platforms to enhance TV viewing itself. This book examines the emerging phenomenon of the Second Screen: where users are increasingly engaging with content on two screens concurrently. The practice is transforming television into an interactive, participatory and social experience.
This book analyses these new patterns of audience behaviour within the framework of user agency and discusses recasting the notion of viewer activity. It studies the impact this is having on theoretical models including Uses and Gratifications, Para-social relationships and transmedia storytelling.
In researching this work, James Blake has interviewed more than 25 people in the TV industry - across the major UK channels - including commissioning editors, digital directors, producers and advertising executives. In doing so, he has been able to track the evolution of interactive TV and examine the successes and failures of recent experiments and innovations in second screen projects.
As the second screen becomes second nature for viewers and producers, the risks and opportunities for the future of television are slowly beginning to emerge. Television and the Second Screen offers students and scholars of television theory and practice an accessible and illuminating guide to this important cultural shift.
James Blake is the Director of the Centre for Media and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University where he’s a senior lecturer in TV and journalism. He spent more than 15 years in the TV industry and still works regularly for Channel 4 News and STV.