Is the smartphone changing the way we watch TV?

It’s no secret that any number of developers for the Android platform have been building apps that activate the mobile’s microphone and attempts to determine what the user is watching on the TV, or listening to on the radio.  How can they do this?

Well, just like the terms and conditions that you agree to when you use that new 4K smart TV you bought over the holidays, you’ve agreed that some app you’re using (which is using the SDK or API of the “listener app” as a component) has the right to spy on you in this way.   Keep in mind this is also how the “hello, Google” wakes up the phone, and it’s the basic principle that Amazon uses with the Echo…  it’s always on in the background, listening for the trigger words that cause it to serve you.

[Tweet “So maybe that’s not the best marriage of smartphone and TV, definitely if you’ve got no idea that you’re agreeing to be spied upon. “]

But there is a way that the smartphone and the TV can work well together, which is what leads advertisers and brands to want to push such subterfuge as described above, and that’s when you pick up your mobile during a TV show that you’re watching, and Tweet.  Or search.  Or post on Facebook about the writers of Grey’s Anatomy “shouldn’t have done that but you’re no spoiler so you won’t say more.”

ThinkWithGoogle has an article discussing this very topic – 

Second-screen searchers present a huge opportunity for marketers. These people aren’t passively following a conversation; they’re leaning forward—looking for more information, learning, and taking action.

Google doesn’t mention the sneaky ways that companies use spy tactics to maneuver consumers; instead they offer some excellent, real world examples of how the two mediums can be effectively combined – and since they are Google, they also have loads of real world examples from real searches and real traffic to draw conclusions.

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Of course having available collateral when it’s time isn’t something that you just think up on the spot (unless you’re Oreo and you really can dunk in the dark!), so it behooves you to think outside the box as far as your regular strategy might go; it’s entirely possible that some random event could occur that presented the chance for you to market to a demographic you never expected to meet or greet.