Second screen. Multi-platform.  Cross-channel.  Too many screens simultaneously, means distraction and more work for your audience. For publishers, it means significant marketing and development costs and huge risks of a boom or bust campaign. Will it be a value added experience for consumers? Or another distraction leading to loss of audience?

There are really “cool” experiences being launched, many with huge budgets that are bound to fail because they are cool for the sake of being cool. Many have the best intentions.  But if I’m a consumer and have to work with two or three devices at once, it stresses me out!

Only 13% of 'second screen' users say content synched with TV makes experience more enjoyable, according to survey from CEA and NATPE -Variety 

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.

I believe there is a sweet spot out there. Create experiences that drive opt-in engagement, work across all platforms, and retain the integrity of the unique video content.  Make it as convenient as possible for consumers to see your videos on social media, mobile-friendly websites, and, if you must, within your apps.

The goal is to give the enthusiast the chance to go wild, and the passive, a chance to engage at their own pace. Most importantly, try to do it on as few screens as possible.

My mantra is “second screen in one screen.”

There are a lot of claims about the “successes” of big multi-platform marketing campaigns where success is based purely on launch results (many of which are subjected to the spin of veteran PR professionals.) I’ll go out on a limb and say that most were going to be a success because enough money was spent to ensure that they hit their KPIs. 

To me, the key is to find an interactive video experience that can be repeated and converted into a long-term relationship. Success to me is to retain a large percentage of your initial second-screen audience.  If you have to repeatedly reacquire audience because the success was purely transactional and not value added, that’s when you have a huge chance of failure.

What do you think?  Is the second-screen experience becoming a confusing multi-screen experience?  Or do you think consumers will accept a fragmented mobile world where they can make a la carte choices?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.