Consumer Insights: Spike’s ‘Second Screeners: Extending Consumer Engagement’

by Kimberly Maxwell, Strategic Insights and Research, Spike

Consumers today are citizens of a multi-screen nation, with more entertainment options – and ways to access entertainment content – than ever. In this study, Spike examined how and why consumers engage with second-screen content, and the payoff for content creators and marketers. The findings reveal that the second screen is fundamental to today’s TV experience and is driving interactivity. Indeed, the screens aren’t competing, they’re completing the experience.

Key Findings

Multi-screening reigns, with the majority of viewers engaging a second-screen while watching TV.

  • Of those second-screen users, 40% engage with a TV show via Facebook, Twitter or TV app while watching TV for at least one show.
  • Fans feel more deeply connected and engaged when they do so: second screeners report feeling “alert,” “engaged,” “focused,” “happy,” “connected” and “excited” when they interact with or discuss a TV show via Facebook, Twitter or TV app.

Second-screen behaviors fulfill a range of inward and outward needs – from seeking information about a topic on a TV show to connecting with friends around that show.


  • 81% search for info about topic on TV show
  • 77% look for info about something seen in ad


  • 67% visit TV show website to learn more
  • 57% like having instant access to extra content


  • 58% text friends about a show
  • 41% use social media to connect with real world friends while watching a favorite TV show


  • 56% post a status update to Facebook about a show
  • 50% publicly “chat” about a TV show on a TV website or blog

Engaged viewers are Super Fans and Product Ambassadors.

Compared to non-engaged viewers, engaged second-screen viewers feel more excited about and more connected to the show they’re watching. This emotional excitement translates to action.

They’re more likely to watch TV shows when they air live: 60% of all engaged viewers are more likely to watch TV shows when they air live.

Engaged viewers are product seekers, more likely to:

  • Search for music they heard in a show
  • Look for more information about something they saw in an ad
  • Remember advertised products
  • Search for products they saw in a show
  • Shop online for something saw in a show
  • Purchase something they saw advertised during a show
  • Purchase something they saw in a TV show


The second screen is a huge opportunity for marketers to extend engagement. By creating custom experiences and owning the space with complementary ads, brands can connect more deeply with consumers.

The Methodology:

This study is based on data from several surveys including a total of 2,800 people ages 18-54 who watch TV and own a second screen.

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