The Future of TV: Multi-screen Viewing and the “Connected” Viewer

Mike Tompkins Perfect Pitch Video on YouTube

Mike Tompkins Perfect Pitch Video on YouTube

As I was watching TV, one of the entertainment show stories really caught my attention. They featured a user-generated video from an a capella singer who launched his career solely from YouTube. The singer, Mike Tompkins, created a music video with his YouTube fans and the cast of the movie Perfect Pitch to promote the film. I recently wrapped up a week of discussing user-generated videos on YouTube in my IMC 640 Intro to Digital Marketing and Communications class and was intrigued by their reach; otherwise, this story might not have caught my attention.

Mike’s story piqued my interest for a few reasons.

  • This user-generated video was getting the attention of a national entertainment show to promote a major release movie.
  • He engaged his fans by incorporating them into the video.
  • He made the video even more appealing by including stars from the movie.
  • Watching this prompted me to grab my iPhone while watching TV so I could watch the video on YouTube. According to Pew Internet, I quickly became one of the 20% of people to visit a website via their phone while watching television. (Eaton, 2012).

After I checked out his video on YouTube, I realized I tend to do this a lot—grab my iPhone and look up a site or story mentioned on TV while sitting on my couch. According to Pew Internet, this is the future of TV—the connected viewer.  Fifty two percent of cell phone owners in the United States are connected viewers, using their phone while watching TV. (Pew, 2012).  “That there’s a 20% direct engagement from the audience to a simple website mention is a key fact for advertisers. And such online brand relationships are going to become even more important when nearly four in 10 people deliberately tune out TV commercials by using their phone as a distraction.” (Eaton, 2012).

These numbers reinforce the fact that a “smart TV” (also called the connected TV) may just land in our living rooms soon. A smart TV, already branded by Samsung, is a growing trend. These TVs have apps (such as YouTube for example), a connection to the Internet and streaming media capability. (Eaton, 2012).  Surprisingly, I saw one the other day at a BJs warehouse. When the time comes to upgrade my TV, I will definitely research purchasing one. I find it convenient and efficient to combine my TV watching with my web browsing. Google and Apple are also planning to get on the “smart TV” bandwagon. (Eaton, 2012). In my opinion, they better get moving quickly.


Smith, A. & Boyles, J.L.  (2012). The rise of the “connected viewer.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from

Eaton, K. (2012). The future of TV is two screens, one held firmly in your hands. Fast Company. Retrieved from

pbpproductions. (2012, September 18). Starships – Performed by Mike Tompkins, the Perfect Pitch cast and you. [Video file]. Retrieved from


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