The Changing Flow of Video – from the Tablet to the TV

The popular news site, Huffington Post, recently released a new iPad app to accompany the HuffPost  Live – the social video site it launched back in August.  As the app description states,

HuffPost Live is a live-streaming video network that uses the most engaging stories on The Huffington Post as the jumping-off point for real-time conversations and commentary – and invites viewers to join the discussion as on-air guests. Topics range from current events to entertainment to tech to parenting to health and fitness.

gigaom recently wrote how the App could be a second-screen break through. I think it points to the changing nature of tablets and TVs. Tablet ownership has increased significantly in the last year – from about 11 percent of US households last year to 31 percent today.  I expect tablets will be in nearly 50 percent of households by year-end.

Over the last year there has much discussion about tablets as second screen devices to the TV.  We are seeing how tablets as second screen devices are changing storytelling. But I also see the role of tablets changing – as individuals increasingly use tablets and smartphones to tee-up videos and other content for the TV. In this way,  we could be witnessing the beginnings of a change in the flow of video content that starts with the tablet instead of the TV.

Today writers/directors/producers are using tablets and second screens to tell a story that is tangential to the primary story.  But ultimately, viewers might find these tangential stories more compelling or of more interest to them and might want to push these secondary story lines to the primary set. With apps like the HuffPost Live app, users can utilize their tablets to serve up content to their TVs.  Users are ultimately gaining more control.