A second screen refers to using a mobile device to provide an enhanced viewing experience for content. I first learned about this experience in a sports marketing class my sophomore year at Virginia Tech, but it is something that can be applied to all forms of media consumption.
While home with my family over the past few months, we have often sat down to watch a movie or binge watch a TV show. Looking around the room, different family members frequently pull out their iphone to research something they saw in the show or to simply ‘check’ social media. While I do this to ease my Gen Z mind, I notice everyone in my family doing it to improve their viewing experience.
With the recent transition to online worship, and a hybrid worship experience on the horizon, churches can take advantage of the second screen phenomenon to enrich a participant’s engagement. According to a 2018 Nielsen study, almost 75% of viewers either sometimes, very often, or always use their smartphone while watching TV. While online worship is not the same as watching TV, there are similarities. If checking the phone is common, why not give the user a reason to go to their smartphone during a service to continue to enhance the viewing experience?
With a designated church app, a church can post resources such as bulletins, links to bible passages, and YouTube clips to help enhance the worship experience. The event chat feature can also be used to interact with members virtually so that thoughts can be shared across all participants in worship. The second screen is a powerful tool – using the tool effectively via a private church app creates the desired engagement for the modern-day worshipper.