Social TV Week in Review: The True Value of Social TV? + Best Practices + Fan Power

The attention splitting, information overloading potential of a two-screen world has irked some and caused concern for others. This week in the press, other criticisms of Social TV popped up in a number of sources. Some have called into question the relevancy of social engagement in the world of time-shifted TV, but the most poignant criticism is that Social TV is being hyped to a disproportionate degree – with the implication that its true value is markedly less.

Tess Alps argues that the number of tweets related to a show pales in comparison to the number of actual viewers, but I would counter that the number of “actual viewers” is only an estimated figure extrapolated from a tiny subset of the population. The amount of actual tweets is, in some cases, much larger than that sample. If the data were magnified in a comparable way perhaps she would be more impressed.

Others, like venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, seem to think the exact opposite. If anything, they claim, Social TV is under-hyped.  Agency execs and networks [see below] are attempting to define best practices, while even fans are using new tools to their advantage. In the case of Fringe, organized fans are flexing their power in efforts to save the show.

Some of the other hot stories this week include: brands creating apps for Facebook’s Timeline; a new show, On the Map, leverages Facebook participation; Streampix is the new service from Comcast; Zap2it’s leading approach to online publishing; and interviews from Zeebox’s Anthony Rose and Jason Arv of Dish.

For all of that and more keep reading… TV saves Twitter via The Thinkbox Blog

Tess Alps says, “Thinkbox loves how TV and social media interact, as we have demonstrated over the last three years with various research studies and events on the topic.  But maybe we all need to calm down a bit…The final episode of Sherlock – which broke the UK record previously held by the X Factor – inspired over 300,000 live tweets. It is a big number on the face of it, but at an average of 2 tweets per tweeter that’s fewer than 2% of viewers tweeting for one of the shows with the biggest impact on Twitter.”

TV goes social… but does TV get social? via MediaTel

“…There is a real danger that the whole social TV phenomenon could become over-hyped…I have also seen similar studies to the Nielsen one that have reported little correlation between social media activity and programme ratings, apart from the very beginning of a series, and viewing soon declines if the show itself doesn’t live up to the hype…There have been some disturbing signs recently of the social TV trend overwhelming the viewing experience in some TV programmes.”

Can social TV survive without appointment TV? via MediaTel

“…as evidence is mounting that catch-up TV is growing steadily and will inevitably outpace real-time/appointment TV, I see the window somewhat shrinking for what’s currently called “social TV”.

How Social Does TV Need To Get Anyway? via Gizmodo

“I don’t really want to watch stale tweets on timeshifted TV, and I’m not wholly convinced that overlaid tweets and status updates are the best way to do this anyway; the appeal of a social network on a distinct device is that I can pay it full attention, or none at all. Mashing the two together forces me to split my attention for the entire duration of the program, and that’s not what I’m after from my TV.”

Why Twitter Has Become The Best/Worst Thing For TV
via Simply Zesty

“But as much as I love the effect the Twitter back channel has had, making TV criticism more democratic and enhancing the experience of watching event television, I think it’s also incredibly damaging to the actual production of brilliant shows…Producers would be wise to put the roiling, raging hive mind of Twitter in context. It’s still a small constituency and good telly should not be held hostage by the hashtag.”

The “Unhyped” New Areas in Internet and Mobile via Tech Crunch

Social TV makes Vinod Khosla’s list of new areas to watch out for, “Better experiences for users, better targeting for advertisers, more access for programmers and the creative types are all likely. Your proxy or agent prioritizing your viewing or reading queue will be an adjunct area. The big guys and the small guys meanwhile will battle for newer first screen experiences and applications.”

At The ANA: Social TV Is ‘New Media’ via Media Post

“[Mike] Proulx suggested it is probably best — in terms of changing strategy and entrenched silo-focused culture at companies and agencies — to think of TV as new media. ‘If you believe in that premise, then you need a new planning model for TV. Gone must be the days of TV people and digital people. We have to work together, in unison, at same time, from the get-go.’”

Why NBC News Bets on Social TV via Digiday

“NBC is betting social channels can invigorate “The Today Show,” “NBC Nightly News” and its other news programs…The key for social TV, according to Ryan Osborn, senior director of social media at NBC News, is pushing viewers to be active on social networks rather than simply passive couch potatoes.”

Social TV: Social Marketing Practices That Translate Beyond Television via Socialnomics

“For a network, the outreach – the blogs, photo campaigns, Twitter postings, Facebook engagement, etc. – becomes an extension of their storyline.  Using the television show as the initial premise behind their social media marketing, they broaden those topics to deliver more relevant content for viewers with intent on keeping viewers coming back to the shows.”

The Socialization of Television: Tips for Broadcasters and Advertisers via Yahoo! Advertising Solutions

“According to Edwin Wong, Yahoo!’s Director of Insights, mobile is the top device when it comes to multitasking while watching TV. Connecting with others (94%) either via talking, texting, email, social networking or IM is the top activity that TV viewers are doing on their mobile phones. The second top activity: consuming content (60%)…The future of television will undoubtedly have a social layer. Advertisers and broadcasters alike have to recognize this and optimize their approaches to content and advertising accordingly. ”

Could Fringe be the first TV series saved by a Twitter hashtag? via Blastr

“The folks at Fringenuity have started a Twitter hashtag effort with a unique twist they hope can keep the series trending while it is on-air live. They hope the buzz will show the series has more fans out there than just the few recorded on a Nielsen ratings box.”

TV brands offer social viewing via Facebook Timeline apps via Lost Remote

“Facebook announced that several TV brands are launching Timeline apps that also share what people are watching with their friends:,, The Daily Show, MTV News, GetGlue and the CBS stations in New York and Los Angeles are among the new partners.”

Innovative Digital Reality Show for Facebook Launches Today
via MarketWatch

“The next generation of Social TV begins today with the launch of ‘On the Map,’ an interactive reality travel show created for the Facebook platform which allows audience members to connect and be inside the show with their friends and alter their viewing experience through their interactions…Depending on how a user interacts with the show through their actions and those of their friends, there are over 60 digital elements that can be delivered and blended into scenes.”

Google files for patent on Siri-like TV user interface
via CNET News

“Google has filed for a patent on a technology that would let users search their program listings with only the sound of their voice…the Google application was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just six days before Apple announced the launch of iCloud and Siri last year…both LG and Samsung announced voice-control support in their new TV lines.”

How Zap2it uses social TV to create more ad opportunities
via Lost Remote

“Zap2it is paving the way for how online publishers covering entertainment need to embrace social TV to keep up with and curate the right content from the social web.”

How Streampix will help Comcast’s social TV push via Lost Remote

A new service Streampix, offering on demand access to 75,000 movies and TV shows helps make Comcast “suddenly the most aggressive MSO so far in launching new products to compete in a new world of television.”

Q&A: Anthony Rose, co-founder, Zeebox via NMA

From Anthony Rose himself, “The ideo fingerprinting technology we use on Zeebox watches all the UK TV channels and matches the ads with the ones we have categorised to contain click-to-buy features. Seconds after you have seen and clicked on it, you are on the merchant’s website. The click-through rates are extraordinary. It is far more effective than holding your phone up to a TV while waiting for it to recognise the audio or a QR code.” He also provided some insight into the apps demographics and what people are looking for,  “They love the tweet stream and information streams coming in, but they don’t necessarily want to partake in tweeting… What there is clearly a gap in the market for is a better way of finding things to watch – people are asking us for seven-day EPGs…The Zeebox audience is still very much early adopter, male and gadget loving. The goal is to grow that.”

Interview: Jason Ary of DISH Network on Second Screen and the Future of Television via Magnet Media

“DISH definitely sees the evolving Social TV and Second Screen space as a HUGE evolution to how users consume their favorite TV shows and movies” Jason continues “Imagine using FaceTime to randomly select contestants to play the game live, from their living room.”

Exclusive: Half of Internet TVs Aren’t Connected via Tech News Daily

“…according to a survey that In-Stat shared exclusively with TechNewsDaily, only half of all people who own Internet-capable TVs have actually gotten them online …Why the lack of enthusiasm? Some people may not even know or care that they have a connected set. Online capability is simply becoming a standard feature, especialy on larger TVs.”


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