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Best Second Screen Apps for Music Lovers

Kristin Houser Writer & Editor, LA Music Blog

Television and music lovers toggle between screens to influence the Billboard charts and greater pop culture.

Sure, summer is a great time to be a music fan, what with all the outdoor concerts, big-name album releases and weekend-long festivals, but for TV lovers, it’s the season when once fertile DVRs transform into barren wastelands of reruns and half-watched “Jeopardy” episodes.

With fall now in full swing, the television season premieres are coming in waves, and a flood of mobile and tablet apps are available to make music fans’ TV-watching experiences as interactive and entertaining as possible. As you binge your way through your favorite dramas, comedies and reality programs (no judgment), be sure to get your second screen on with these apps.


It might not be the first app you think of when it comes to TV watching, but thanks to a new partnership with Billboard, this must-have app for music fans is now also a necessity for TV watchers. Not only can it be used to help bring recognition to your favorite artists, but it can also give you a good reason to hold off on fast-forwarding through all those commercials.

As a part of the 55th annual CLIO Awards, CLIO Music teamed up with Billboard and Shazam to present three exclusive song charts that ranked the impact of advertisements on song popularity. Covering the tracking period of July 2013 through June 2014, these rankings were based on a combination of factors, including overall Shazam tags, resulting sales and streaming totals as measured by Nielsen Entertainment, as well as the creativity of the musical integration.

Shazam Breakthrough Chart

No word yet on whether the charts will be back in 2015, but the next time you’re watching live TV or just can’t find the remote, be sure you have your Shazam app ready. Not only could you be putting a name to the artist that caught your ear in the latest Beats by Dre ad, you could also be helping them win a CLIO, and if I’ve learned anything from six and a half seasons of “Mad Men,” it’s that CLIOs are the best!


Like an amped-up Foursquare for television viewers, this free mobile app formerly known as GetGlue allows users to “check in, unlock digital stickers, comment, doodle and react to” TV shows, movies and sporting events. The platform’s 9 million registered users can interact with other viewers while easily accessing information about the shows they’re currently watching, including cast info, program trivia, currently trending topics and more.

Built by the team behind i.TV (the company responsible for creating the most downloaded TV guide app in the history of Apple’s App Store), TVTag is a fun way to interact with those outside your circle of Facebook friends while watching television. It can be particularly useful for music fans who want to find out who is responsible for the music supervision for a particular show or if they’re they only viewer geeking out about their favorite indie band getting a placement in prime-time TV.


Live-tweeting has eclipsed live-blogging as the hip way for viewers to offer their snap judgments on TV premieres, sporting events and awards shows, and the impact of social media on television is so undeniable, Nielsen (the global leader in measuring and providing insight and data about what people watch, listen to and buy) now provides Twitter TV Ratings.

Some television programs are better than others at making sure their presence on social media is a two-way street, and for those programs you’ll definitely want to have your Twitter app ready.

NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” is the go-to late night talk show for Twitter fans. Fallon recently launched a Twitter campaign to get his satirical single “Ew!” to the top of the Billboard charts, and the host solicits tweets from viewers weekly for his Hashtags segment, many of which are musically themed (#MisheardLyrics, #NewThanksgivingSongs, #FakeJayZLyrics, etc.). He then reads the best user submissions on air during the following night’s episode.

Comedy Central’s “@Midnight” also incorporates an interactive Twitter segment, Hashtag Wars, into each episode (no surprise there, given the show’s name). The best viewer contribution receives recognition on the following night’s episode. Some musical favorites from this segment include #RedneckASong, #RejectedWeirdAlSongs and #RuinABand (e.g., “Hit Me with Your Buckshot,” “Squirrels Just Wanna Have Fun” and “ZZ Muffintop,” respectively).

Whether you prefer the cringe-worthy Fallon hashtags, or the less PC and more punny @Midnight prompts, using Twitter while watching either program is a must for any music fan and the perfect way to wind down when you get home from a concert.

@Midnight Hashtag Wars

Now that you know which apps to have for your fall TV viewing, it’s time to slip into your favorite Snuggie, grab the remote and get comfortable on the couch. Your DVR is likely quickly running out of available space, and you can only avoid those “American Horror Story: Freak Show” spoilers for so long.


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