ABC did a number of tests with second-screen apps that pushed out contextual information for shows like Grey’s Anatomy, and the results weren't very impressive.
“It was interesting to viewers, but not essential,” said Albert Cheng, executive VP at ABC-owned Disney Digital.
And when engagement did happen it took away from people’s attention on the show’s story. “Second screen becomes a distraction,” Cheng said at the Next TV Summit in San Francisco. “It’s not a game that we want to be in."
While he conceded second-screen apps can work for certain kinds of content, such as sports, news, reality programming and awards, it's not clear ads can be sold or the apps monetized effectively.