Second screen apps are tablet, smartphone and desktop applications dedicated to leverage the second screen phenomenon potential.
Second screen applications have multiple marketing usages. They can:
allow viewers to interact simultaneously with a program via comments, quizzes, contests or polls.
allow advertisers to tie a commercial with online content through ACR.
allow viewers to buy products shown in commercials or programs.
allow viewers to share opinions or excerpts of a video on social media platforms - see also social TV.
Second screen apps are most often synchronized with programs through video fingerprinting or ACR. It allows features to work even if the program has been registered. Some technologies claim to be able to feel the mood within a program and not to interfere when the tension is building.
There are many second screen apps on the market but just a few will survive. Some are dedicated to a specific network or program and others are generic and manage all programs and networks for a country.
How Shazam application allows audience to access content tied to commercials:
A generic second screen application: