“Second Screen” Ideas for Radio

In his latest connected column for Radio-Info, Daniel Astandig has done a good job detailing some of the “second screen” usage that I’ve written about before.

That’s where people are interacting with their laptops or tablets or smartphones while they’re watching something on TV.  So far, TV has built up some success stories of getting some second screen interactivity going during some shows.  For example, during each week’s Survivor on CBS, host Jeff Probst is also tweeting away with fans of the show on Twitter.


This was something I discovered for myself during an awards show a couple of years ago.  Now, I hate awards shows.  However, as part of my job as program director of a particular radio station, it behooved me to watch this show and see who won, so that we were on top of the content at work.  Well, it turned out that a bunch of friends around the country were online too, while watching the show.  We were all commenting on Facebook about what we were seeing as the awards show rolled on.  That social media tie-in turned an experience that was normally like getting a root canal into a fun party-type evening.

When TV networks and production companies get in the act and provide exclusive social media content, it’s a winning experience.  Because, if you look at the usage data in Daniel’s column, TV watching is not just about plopping your butt on the couch and turning on the TV and viewing uninterrupted for so many hours anymore.  People are doing other things with the TV on, and many of them involve a second screen.

I believe there’s a model for radio here.  Actually, two.  One involves real-time second screen social media bonding; the other, after the fact.  (Yeah, I know radio doesn’t have a screen; stick with me here, though.)


Let’s say you have a radio show that has a high level of listener involvement.  Maybe it’s a controversial talk show; maybe it’s a funny morning show on a music station; maybe it’s a specialty request show or some other show that historically has gotten a lot of phone action.

You could cultivate immediate social media “second screen-type” usage.  This might involve people using a smartphone or tablet while stopped in traffic, or their computer at work.

We know that your Facebook brand page tends to be full of your biggest fans.  Why not interact with those people there to make the most of the content in your show?  It’s a way to get more loyalty and listening occasions from your fans, and to make your show that much better.


Instead of using Facebook for extra interaction during a show, you could give people a “green room” experience in social media following your broadcast … and get a feel for ideas and concepts after the broadcast is over.  So far, most “after the show” content on our websites and in social media is very broadcast-y.  We’re still talking at our fans, not with them.

However, let’s say you’re doing a big morning show, and your audience is made of of adults who spend the day at work after your show is done.  A ton of Facebook viewing is done on computers in workplaces, and your fans might love the opportunity for a meaningful, interactive diversion with you during the day … after your last show, and before the next one.


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