Most recently I was able to attend the Internet Summit in Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. This year’s conference placed heavy emphasis on mobile technology; with “second screen” viewing being a popular topic of discussion. In several presentations it was mentioned that somewhere between 70% and 85% of television viewers are watching TV while connected to their mobile device. This statistic presents an obvious opportunity for networks to hold viewers attention beyond the television screen. Whether it’s content or interactivity, the second screen should offer a viewer driven experience that increases the value of whatever television program the viewer is watching at the time. The best way to present engaging functionality while delivering relevant content in real time: mobile apps.

The point is to develop an app that functions as a second screen by delivering interesting and relevant information in an attempt to add value to the first screen experience. Content can range from sports stats and actors biographies to games about the content.Use viewer driven utilities and push notifications to drive serious consumer adoption. For example, send push notifications with show time updates or ‘special guest appearance’ reminders. Build strong community engagement with check-in functionality for viewers to see who else is watching a particular show and what is being talked about. Use your mobile app as a tool for gathering valuable information about your audience with creative polls and contests.

Ryan Wells, Podcaster and Internet Summit speaker, discussed a mobile technology that uses noise detection to sync your device with whatever show you are watching. With this viewers can capture frames from live TV and create a meme image that they can share with their peers. The television networks already use hashtag campaigns to leverage the conversations already happening on general networks like Twitter or Facebook. Why not maintain control over those conversions by encouraging conversation within your mobile app? has a list of apps where fans can live chat with actors and writers from their favorite USAnetwork shows in real time.

With the 2012 Presidential Election and the London Olympic games setting twitter records, it’s obvious that the second screen era is very much upon us. In the midst of the Fall TV season, what are you watching on your second screen?