Late last year eBay entered the 2nd screen market. Below is a video demo of their app. Great concept, but still missing a key component: the ability to purchase the actual clothes, housewares, books or gadgets that I’ve just seen on the screen. Maybe not the original item – but at least a similar item made by the same product maker.
This highlights the importance of the content producers and/or transmedia producers in the eco-system of 2nd screens. Finding sponsors and/or partners for products in the show and then tagging the media is not something easily done as an afterthought. Fantastic costumes in your show? I bet there is someone who would produce contemporized/street ready versions. Cool gadgets? The maker communities are alive and flourishing. However, this eco-system needs to be created earlier in the process – possibly during the development phase.
Although this means more work and complexity up-front, it eventually turn into a win-win for everyone: consumers purchase the products they’ve actually seen and want, content producers develop an additional revenue stream (i.e., a portion of the sales revenue) and the product creators get additional exposure and revenues. Win-win-win.
Ebay brings us close to this shopper’s nirvana, but not quite there.