Broadcasting companies, networks and advertisers have taken advertising and monitoring viewership patterns to a new level. By creating a new medium of interactive TV where viewers can actually engage in what they are watching, they have opened up a window of opportunity to combine this trend with the way new age TV works. This not only capitalizes on market share and profits but also provides a unique and worthwhile viewing experience for its users.

Syncing Interactive TV and ViewersAdvertising syncing occurs when the main screens shows the program, and focuses on primarily evoking emotions and immediacy while the second screen comes in to provide interaction and transactions to nurture those emotions–at the same time allowing the collection data of each unique viewer.

For example: viewing a typical football game on TV can now allow viewers to engage and contribute by voting and predicting score lines, stand-out players and even scoring odds. Such interaction keeps viewers in an active state of mind and provides a healthy distraction especially during commercial breaks so that viewers do not lose interest and channel surf.

One such application that unifies the program and what is called a second-screen is an application called Miso. Miso partnered with DirectTV, enabling users of this application to access it to interface with the DirectTV receiver enabling automatic display of what they are watching on separate screens. Users can switch channels and this application will update automatically and synch the display.

The first real test of this application came in October 2011 when the 6th Season of Dexter was aired; users of DirectTV who owned iPhones were also able to read articles about the program, access information of the cast, quotes and trivia at the same time.

All relevant content was provided in synch to the show’s storyline for the episode. The further capabilities of Miso is that it could also alert users each time new content was provided during the course of the program so that it didn’t add on screen distraction.

A report conducted in May 2011 helped to underline this and determine the behavioural patterns of viewers by answering the fundamental questions such as whether viewers would want information displayed for them while they are watching, the type of information they would want and whether the second screen was an active or passive instrument.

Findings for this test were very useful for applications such as Miso, as it helped to identify that viewers for the six shows the tests were conducted on required the second screen experience as an accompaniment to the content.

For example; viewers for reality programs wanted gossip and candid images of the cast during the program airtime where else for dramas; viewers wanted memorable scenes and high quality images shown lesser before and after the program but higher during commercial breaks. These findings also showed that the second screen experience can go hand in hand as long as it is relevant to the show’s tone, pace and style.

Increasing companion platforms and enabling it to gain momentum can be very beneficial to broadcast networks and advertisers as well especially when it allows users to interact with the program and advertisements. The unique part about this new age of interaction is that each network has different approaches for this unique experience.

ABC for example displays trivia questions and information videos on its broadcaster programs during commercial breaks, while NBC uses clickable banners and interstitial video advertisement that starts displaying as soon as shows go to commercial break. A virtual host will also post about given sponsors right before and right after a show.

The cross channel experience having each screen work together can help the advertisements create more impact on the viewers. The viewing of advertisements has gradually progressed into an experience rather than just passively watching and can help advertisers reach its target audiences.