Consuming Information Via The 5 Screens


I’m reading The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.  I have it in hardcover.  It may not be the best novel ever written, but I’m really enjoying it.  One side-effect of being bombarded by so many messages (it is hotly contested statistic but most media experts agree we’re exposed to thousands daily) is that a little quiet time away from a screen is a rare treat.  

You don’t even realize it until you stop and think, but much of your day is spent on “screen time,” and not just TV.  For Marketers, I’ve found that an interesting model to ponder is  the “5 Screens.” 

This entry in  Wikipedia summarizes the historic line of Communication Screens:

  • First screen, (the Silver Screen, Movies)
  • Second screen, Television
  • The Third screen really came about after the advent of two technologies melding together – the Personal Computer and the publicly available World Wide Web in 1995
  • Arguably the Fourth screen is related to mobile hand-held devices.  It followed in 2002 with the advent of Hand Held technologies and Wi-Fi, 2g and 3G mobile services.
  • The Fifth screen are screens often seen in public areas.  The digital screen that is seen outside the home in many different venues. Screens are installed in elevators, malls, airports, train stations, on a subway platform, in retail stores, banks, etc.

Not many of us deal with the first and second screens much, unless we are working with global brands.  It is notable that only these first two screens were widely available before 1995. Which brings us to the others…

You most likely have an active effort around the third screen (your website, this blog, web applications, etc).  How if at all are you working with the fourth screen (mobile applications/internet, phones, tablets)?  Finally, the fifth screen is exploding in Point of Sale, Point of Wait and Point of Transit installations. It is expected that millions of these screens will be deployed over the next five years in places like Retail outlets to promote sales of products, or while waiting in line as at a bank, and in transit, such as Digital Billboards on highways.

A lot of screens to think about, both as a consumer and a marketer. 

But first I think I’ll knock out a few more chapters of my book.

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