An Audience Perspective on the 2nd Screen Phenomenon

  • Jonas De Meulenaere Vrije Universiteit Brussel Universiteit Gent
  • Lizzy Bleumers Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Wendy Van den Broeck Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Keywords: Media Innovations, 2nd screen, Qualitative Research, Laddering, Means-end Theory


Second screen (2nd screen) applications are among the latest of the TV-industry’s innovations to retain the TV-viewer’s attention in a challenging multi-screen environment. These applications can be regarded as an extension of TV-content consumed on a TV-set towards lightweight portable devices such as tablets. Despite the numerous commercial instances available internationally and the existing literature on the topic from a technical perspective remains the audience side of this phenomenon underexposed. Moreover, in the case of Flanders, 2nd screen applications are thus far rather marginally commercially implemented. In this research, we aim to elicit what TV-viewers anticipations are regarding 2nd screen functionalities. By applying means-end theory and a laddering approach we were able to discern how these anticipations subsequently relate to the TV-show itself, the consequences for the viewing experience, as well as how 2nd screen is expected to fit within the viewer’s everyday life.


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