Social TV Week in Review: Second Screen Distractions + New Studies Reveal Engagment + Latest Social TV Players

Social TV detractors claim that a barrage of secondary content and social features can be distracting and even intimidating to the average television viewer.  Despite the fact that this information influx is most likely a non-issue for the TV junkie who has deliberately opted-in to such services, the worry caused by data overload is legitimate.  Reconciling these concerns, by figuring out the right ratio of TV to social and supplemental content, will certainly solve a great number of problems in the growing industry.  Fortunately, this is exactly where many companies are focusing their resources.

Some critics have asserted that second screens move viewers further out of range for advertisers; I believe this is a fallacy. There is always the opportunity to generically screen sync ads – but if the notion of creating transmedia experiences intimidates rather than excites the agency, well then, we should really be having another discussion.  All this is to say nothing of the personal data a second screen has the potential to capture!

But for every cynic there are a dozen supporters. TVGuide has just published the latest bit of empirical data, which suggests social media is driving engagement and fueling retention when it comes to TV. A separate survey conducted by ANA/Forrester found media budgets are increasingly diverting dollars to TV and Digital ad buying.

Also promising, Netflix, a service once known only for movies, is now thriving off its TV offerings.  Meanwhile, movie studios are adapting their bonus content” to second screen format in hopes of bolstering DVD and Blueray sales.

Finally check out some of the exciting new plays in the social TV space from folks like Discovery, NASCAR, Umami, MTV, Audible Magic and RUWT.

All that and more to follow in this week’s Social TV recap…

The Big Problem with the Second Screen via Forbes

“What the second screen really represents for consumers is a way to spend time doing something other than watching TV commercials.  The more screens we have on hand, the more likely it is that we will find a way to tune out during the breaks in our favorite shows.”

Second Screens Need To Tame The Social TV Mob  via MediaPost

“…trendy as anything with the moniker “social” may be in digital media right now, the actual value add of most “Social TV” executions seems to me highly questionable… many users find those social streams more daunting than helpful. The torrent of posts is overwhelming. Many people see the thing flowing into the app and aren’t sure what to do with it, or where and how to enter it.”

Freesat: “The challenges in bringing social TV to a mass audience are pyscho-social” via IPTV News

“…I don’t think the challenges in bringing social TV to a mass audience are technological, rather they are psycho-social. Finding something that we will want to connect to and engage with every day would require a step-change in how we watch TV. This will only come when an app is developed that adds value to watching TV, is simple enough to lend itself to continued use and fits into our daily lives.”

A “frank-but-fair” view of the confluence of advertising, marketing and the social web via Alan Wolk

“…critical mass is very, very important to the success of any social TV app.  And that Twitter would be mad not to create one of their own… So why not just create their own Social TV app that looks and feels just like Twitter only with extras like audio recognition for check-in or polls or the ability to see which shows are trending now.”

Social TV Survey: Social Media Is Making You Watch More TV! via

“Social activity drives tune-in, loyalty and more live viewing, according to a survey about social TV by In total, 17 percent of respondents say they have started to watch a show and 31 percent say they have continued to watch a show because of a social impression.”

The Promise and Peril of Social TV – Tom Cunniff via MediaBizzBloggers

“The central promise of Social TV is deeper engagement. It’s easy to buy eyeballs; it’s much harder to reach hearts and minds. Social TV offers marketers entirely new opportunities to get people involved in the stories behind their brands, and to spark conversation with friends.”

Federal Hill Communications: “Social TV is the most powerful tool” via IPTV News

“…when it comes to monetisation, rights, authentication and especially a dominant, fully functional, easy to use platform, it will take at least another two or three years to realise TV Everywhere’s full potential… Social TV is the most powerful tool. It is the new focus group, the new analytics, the new recommendation engine, the new critics. “

What You Need to Know About Interactive TV via Advertising Age

“‘ITV brings the power of internet advertising — which is better able to target users — with the impact of a huge screen on the wall,’ said Frank Barbieri, exec VP-emerging platforms at video-advertising platform YuMe. ‘ITV has the potential to make TV [ad] buys more effective and efficient.’… But according to eMarketer, just 8% of advertisers invested in connected-TV video ads in 2011, basically flat with 2010.”

TV gets social, thanks to Web via Boston Globe

“Mike Sheehan, chief executive of the Boston advertising agency Hill Holliday, said… show producers, value strong Internet buzz just as highly as strong Nielsen ratings…Christy Tanner, executive vice president of TVGuide Digital, said her website decides whether to post articles about a particular show partly by measuring its popularity among social media viewers… the creator of the TV series “Modern Family’’ has said that he and his writers track viewers’ Twitter reaction to the show to see which of their jokes are most effective.”

ANA/Forrester Survey: TV Advertising Effectiveness Is On The Upswing via Yahoo! Finance

“TV ad spending will account for 47 percent of media budgets, a 6 percent increase from reported budgets in our 2010 survey… Digital remains a top priority for respondents. Seventy percent plan to spend more on web ads this year, followed closely by social media and mobile.”

Once Film-Focused, Netflix Transitions to TV Shows via The New York Times

“TV series now account for more than half of all Netflix viewing… Analysts say the prioritizing of television partly explains why the company has been able to retain about 21.7 million streaming subscribers in the United States — totaling one in four households that have broadband — despite complaints about an inadequate feature film selection…. The company’s next challenge is to come up with original shows — instead of reruns — that subscribers will latch onto, mimicking the HBO model.”

HOLLYWOOD EMBRACES SECOND SCREEN –  the saviour of the physical media market? via D2D

“Disney, Dreamworks, Sony, Universal, Twentieth Century Fox and The Weinstein Company have launched Blu-ray movies that support second screen… Disney was one of the first companies to launch second screen titles which include: Tron Legacy, Bambi, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Lion King: Diamond Edition… One of the advantages that second screen content has over disc-based extra content is that it can be easily revised, updated or added to, but whether studios will want to make the investment for these activities remains to be seen.”

Discovery Channel Adds Pop-Up Tweets to ‘Gold Rush’ Show [EXCLUSIVE] via Mashable

“The Discovery Channel is curating some of the tweets and editing them into related parts of the episodes.”

Hashtags on TV: The right way… and the wrong way via CNET News

“In other words, by using a hashtag…you encourage viewers to tweet with and at your brand, making for easy tracking. Also, others on Twitter who aren’t watching your show might become aware of it and tune in.”

NASCAR Won’t Punish Driver Who Live-Tweeted Daytona Crash via Mashable

“NASCAR announced that it won’t punish driver Brad Keselowski, whose tweets from the racetrack during a hazard delay in Monday’s Daytona 500 gained him more than 100,000 followers in two hours…In fact, NASCAR even welcomed him to continue finding creative uses for Twitter on-track.”

Social TV’s Marketing Proposition: Capturing Online Ad Dollars That Go To Google (Eventually) via TVExchanger

“Umami offered its first big update with two new features that attempt to make the most of the iPad’s large screen with the ability to share screen shots from a show via Twitter and Facebook…. With FreezeFrame, Umami users tap a button that opens a new dialogue box, showing images captured from the last couple of minutes of a broadcast.”

MTV’s Mobile TV App Lets You Chat and Co-View Content With Your Friends via Mashable

“MTV Mobile has announced a new mobile TV app called MTV Under The Thumb …The app offers MTV content on-demand with a social twist: it lets users co-view the content and chat with friends in the app at the same time.”

Audible Magic Granted Three New U.S. Patents for Content Recognition Innovations via MarketWatch

“Audible Magic Corporation, the leader in automated content recognition (ACR) solutions and services, today announced that the U.S. Patent Office has granted it three new patents for its innovative work in automated content recognition (ACR) technology”

How one sports geek wants to save cable TV with data via Gigaom

“RUWT…keep[s] track of what’s on and where, as well as the hundreds of data points streaming into its system during every game that’s on. An algorithm rates games based on the number of exciting things going on (e.g., lead changes, overtime, a big upset in the making or a no-hitter going into the eighth inning)…Users looking at the RUWT app on their screens will see a scoreboard-like interface with games tagged either ‘OK,’  ‘Good,’ ‘Hot’ or ‘Epic,’ and can tune in accordingly.”


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