first screen

noun

(1) The first display screen ever viewed by the public. Depending on whether “screen” means electronic or not, the first screen was either a movie theater screen or a TV set.

(2) The computing device people use most of the time (where they go “first”). First screen is a marketing term that focuses on which devices get the most attention: smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

The first display screen was most likely a television set or the screen in a movie theater. With the invention of the projector in 1895 and the invention of the electric television in 1927, people started looking away from books and towards screens. While televisions and theater screens didn’t become household names immediately, the two became the initial first and second screens that people viewed.

Most likely, the television started out as second screen. They weren’t accessible and not everyone had access to one in the advent of their invention. The movie theater on the other hand was accessible to anyone that had a little money to spare and was the very first of the first screens. Wider audiences meant that more people gave the theater screens their attention and their money.

Fast forward eighty-eight years from the first successful demonstration of the electric television and we’re now faced with a world where the television ranks a distant third in terms of screen positioning. At first, television was very comfortably on top of the market. In 2012, there was an average of three televisions in every household in America. Not only were people watching, but they were spending.

However, the only thing more pervasive than telephones are computers.

Computers are everywhere and for a time, they were considered the modern day “First Screen” as televisions fell by the wayside. In 2014, 84% of households in the United States owned a computer with a record 73% of American households reporting both a computer and a steady connection to the internet.  Digital is everything right now and computers became the first screen due to how many people were sitting in front of their computers instead of in front of television or theater screens.

However, times change.

Right now, almost two-thirds of all Americans are now smartphone owners. We’re not talking about American households, just Americans in general. That means that more people in the country own smartphones than have access to individual computers. With more and more people purchasing and using smartphones every year in America, it’s no wonder how the smartphone has moved to bump computers right out of the top spot as “First Screen”.

Smartphones put control in the users’ hands. They choose what content they see and they interact with what makes them happy. Smartphones connect people to products more efficiently than computers can via the use of mobile applications and advertisements on social media that are interactive and yet noninvasive.

Most people go to their phones now for anything that they need and that’s why businesses need to be taking advantage of the first screen revolution.

If you own a business or have a company with a significant television or computer presence, consider this: the main ways that you use digital marketing are changing and some are less used than others. With more and more people owning, operating, and obsessing over smartphones every single day, wouldn’t it make more sense to broaden your advertising and marketing campaigns to include mobile?

Use mobile websites, social media, and of course, custom made mobile applications to get users thinking about your business. After all, the advantages that mobile has over the other screens (computer, television, and theater) mean that the phone is set up to be the reigning First Screen for a very long time indeed.

Keep up and make sure that your business is doing what it takes to be a force to contend with when getting taps, swipes, and downloads sending users to your business.

 


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