SocialTV Week In Review: TV Viewers and SM Users + Transmedia and Social Discovery

In the purest sense of the term, Social TV is exactly what its name implies, a merging of social media and television. The budding relationship is being well documented in reports [see a few below] that point to the growing interdependence of the two media landscapes. That mobile devices often serve as the bridge between these worlds means there is a natural overlap in Social TV and transmedia discussions. The conversation now turns to what should happen next and how it will affect content consumers and providers.

From the consumer side, TV viewers and SM users are hopping to use social media for content discovery. Rovi, a digital entertainment solutions company, found a trifling 14% of viewers know what they want to watch when turning on their TV’s, while the rest look for help from their program guides. But audiences aren’t stopping there. The UK’s Telegraph reported this week that women are now relying more on Facebook than traditional TV guides when searching for program options. Furthermore, the success of tablet devices has given developers a new playground to test recommendation products and electronic programming guides. While the refrain “content is king” may always ring true, Bob Garfield of Ad Age points out another truth; content will never run dry, in fact there will only be more of it, therefore the focus needs to be on discovery.

From the provider side, Forrester research highlights three important obstacles: measuring cross-platform reach, measuring social engagement with the TV brand and measuring how TV tune-in leads to actual purchases. Measurement is the key. Fortunately, the short-term nuisance of chasing down fracturing audiences and defining new metrics will be greatly outweighed by the long-term benefits of owning more robust data. Eventually, the metrics will be buttoned down and analytical tools will be stronger than ever.

For now, Social TV and transmedia strategies have many kinks to work out. Sidharth Jayant, content service manager at Samsung Electronics says to ‘focus on the TV and then make it social’, not the other way around. Eric Guillaume, ex-freelance project director for ITV, disagrees, ‘It’s a question of culture. Senior commissioning people are still old school and continue to think ‘TV first’. Zachary Weiner, CEO of CTV Advertising, may be the closest to getting it right. It’s no longer about content he claims, we must create experiences.

Companies would help themselves and consumers by concentrating their energy delivering the content they want, when and where they want. The Internet and technology pose obvious threats to the traditional TV establishment, but if audiences are fracturing they are also growing.  People are watching more TV everywhere, online and off, and the tools to target and engage them will only get better.

For all this plus other news and highlights from tweetTV, Airtime and Ford’s Social TV show please keep reading.

Social TV:Embracing a New Trend via Voice and Data

“According to a new survey released by a digital marketing agency, Digital Clarity, the way young people watch TV is changing…Twitter was used by a whopping (72%) number of respondents to hold discussions during a TV show, while Facebook was used by around half (56%). And, around a third (34%) of respondents used other mobile applications to hold conversations.”

THR’s Social Media Poll: How Facebook and Twitter Impact the Entertainment Industry via THR

“Based on a survey of 750 social network users ages 13 to 49…more than half of respondents say social media sites are important tastemakers in determining what to watch and buy. …Seventy nine percent of television viewers visit Facebook while they watch TV…Of all the other activities people do while on social media sites, television watching in the most popular…Three out of 10 people have decided to watch a TV show because of something they read or saw on a social networking site.”

Women ditching TV guide for Facebook via The Telegraph

“Sixty-eight percent of women are now using Facebook more than traditional TV guides to dictate their viewing habits, a new piece of research from Carphone Warehouse’s Geek Squad team.”

One Screen To Rule Them All via TechCrunch

“Tablets are bringing about a big shift in personal computing and creating unique opportunities for media companies to connect with their viewers. Those that profit will leverage video analytics and advanced content recommendation algorithms to deliver personalized viewing experiences across all connected devices.”

Zeebox, Content Discovery & Remote Controls via VOD Professional

“While this seems like a minor flaw, the inability for most users to change the channel makes social TV apps seem like toys rather than tools. Social TV is all about discovery – finding out what we want to watch and tuning in. A recent study by Rovi measuring the behavior of 100 million set-top boxes and Connected TVs found that users only navigate directly to a specific shows 14% of the time. The rest of the time they are going to the program guide and looking for something to watch.”

Content is Still King! via FX Design Group

“Are you producing enough Quality Content in Unique ways for each platform? Are you helping your Advertisers to develop content and strengthen your Bond with them and increase your Ad dollars, or are you allowing them to hire your laid off writers, producers and photogs to produce their own content?”

 Apple, Amazon, Google or Comcast — Who Will ‘Win’ TV 2.0? via Ad Age

“The future won’t hinge on content; an unlimited supply is a given. It will hinge on the discovery of content. It’s the needle-in-the-haystack problem.”

Welcome to the era of Social TV! via Nicolas Bry

“Social TV is a game changer, not because of the technology, but because it challenges several business models, such as the paradigm of TV ratings and the TV press magazine model. By bringing additional kinds of metrics, and by shifting content to new media such as tablets, Social TV is creating disruption for these markets.”

New Data Is Bringing New Insight To TV Viewing via Forrester

“Marketers have struggled with accurately measuring their reach across TV and digital media platforms. Today’s TV watchers multitask with digital devices, fluidly moving between platforms and expecting a seamless experience. In this complex world, marketers need standardized data sets to measure: …Cross-platform reach…Social engagement with their TV brand…Relationships between TV tune-in and actual purchases.”

The Future of Social TV: Where We Are Now and Where We’re Headed via TV Guide

“We don’t believe social ratings will ever replace Nielsen ratings. We see it as an additional layer that gives us data we’ve never had before. It gives us this unfiltered focus group of insight based on all these social impressions that audiences are creating while they’re watching TV. “

What Can Brands Learn from SocialTV? via Pluris Marketing

“The real-time web has opened up a swath of new rich, real time data sources that can inform marketing decisions and production cycles. TV networks can use this data to understand who is engaging with their programming right now, in which markets, using which platform, on what device- allowing programmers and executives to gain instant insights into how their product is performing…The smartest TV programmers aren’t just marketing during the window in which their program airs or even during the season in which it is rolling out fresh content. The best are engaging across multiple touch points around the clock and throughout the year while also offering value specifically generated for each touch point.”

Facebook A Quiet Second-Screen Giant In Social TV Space? via Media Post

“In an Informa survey of TV, telecom and Internet executives, social networks were considered by 21.8% of respondents to be the types of companies that can persuade users to pay for digital content. Only 16.8% cited network operators like telcos as likely platforms for paid content, while 27.7% pointed to over-the-top services like Netflix and the largest share cited device manufacturers like Apple, Sony and Samsung…Informa also recommends that programmers build viable social TV ad models that work off of the main TV display. The second screen is where advertisers can more precisely target and segment the TV audience. It is ‘vital to future TV revenues, as old advertising models based on a mass audience become increasingly devalued,’ Thomas writes.”

Zeebox plots first screen integration with TV manufacturers via Brand Republic News

“…the integration would mean its interface would, for the first time, become ‘overlaid on the first screen’…agencies and brands should think about audience behaviour first, ‘then create content ideas around that’… underpinning that is hardware tech but it’s the adoption of that technology that will be really driving [social TV]”… Sidharth Jayant, content service manager at Samsung Electronics, said that in social TV, the aim should be to ‘focus on the TV and then make it social’ and not the other way around…David Nahmani, director of business development and partnerships at Orange / France Telecom, said social TV activity generated ‘a lot of data’. He said: “Tomorrow’s value will come from understanding data from an advertising and broadcasting perspective.”

Social TV won’t take off until there is a change of mindset amongst broadcasters, ex-ITV project director SMWF via The Drum

“Social TV will not take off until there is a change of mindset amongst broadcasters, warned Eric Guillaume, ex-freelance project director for ITV…‘Content consumption is still being done in a very tradition way,’ he said. ‘Social is still an afterthought. What will be do with Twitter? etc. There is still an embryonic sense of social. The main idea is still not thought about across all platforms…‘It’s a question of culture. Senior commissioning people are still old school and continue to think ‘TV first’”.

Connected TV And The Converged Living Room: Calls For Redefinition of Content And Advertising

Zachary Weiner, CEO of CTV Advertising, says, “Here is an opportunity laden stream of thought that I want everybody to consider. The entertainment/TV industry has changed…If you have any part of the TV industry I want you to repeat a new mantra. You are now the ambassadors of living room experiences, not just living room content. You are not television programming creators. You are not advertising creators. You are not simply content distributors. You are experience creators. Create the option to have those experiences apply to the action seeker, or the relaxation seeker as today’s living room explorer is both.”

 Future of TV: Personalization is Key via VideoMind

“The invention of digital technology and the proliferation of streaming media content on the Internet have augmented, rather than cannibalized, TV viewing. Watching content over cable and online video are growing hand in hand… One of the reasons I am so excited about the future of television is that personalization technology will enable us to deliver the right viewing experience to the right user at the right time and on the right device…The complexity of choice requires incredibly sophisticated and intelligent systems to factor in the abundance of information relevant for each individual (decision making) process.”

Technology Is Destroying Mad Men via Buzzfeed

“Actually, this goes for almost all scripted TV. If it’s not live, if there’s no physical crowd, if there’s no element of improvisation, then you’re not part of it — at least, not while it’s airing. The impulse to tweet during scripted TV comes from the same place as the impulse to shout a joke in a movie theater. Nobody likes the guy who shouts jokes in the movie theater.”

Is This The Future Of Recommissioning? via Red Bee Media

“Will people rather than the shows execs have the power to decide if a show is recommissioned in the future?…with social media, I would argue that the balance of power is shifting ever more towards the fans.

Social TV investment not matching opportunity? via LostRemote

“‘It actually strikes me as fairly modest. Even if you assume that most of this stuff fizzles, it seems like the chance to create a next-generation TV Guide, or a next-generation Nielsen ratings service, would inspire entrepreneurs and check-writers to be even more aggressive’…That’s especially true if you consider Jack Myers‘ prediction that social TV will become a $30 billion business by 2020.”

Xbox now used more for entertainment than gaming via LostRemote

“Xbox said more people are now using the console for entertainment purposes (TV, movies and music) than gaming… Xbox is television’s largest social network. While these new apps don’t take advantage of many Xbox Live features, the obvious next evolution is to become more social, engaging and connecting subscribers over voice, video and data. The foundation is built, and the scale is there (Xbox sold 426,000 units in February alone). And now it’s just up to developers to evolve a consumption experience to a social experience, tapping the Xbox Live wiring to make it happen. Stay tuned…”

Early Googler raises $750,000 for ‘social TV guide’ tweetTV via The Next Web

“Austin, Texas-based tweetTV, which offers an eponymous real-time social TV guide service and is not to be confused with TWiT.tv, has raised $750,000 in seed funding from angel investor Joe Kalfa.”

New social video startup ‘Airtime’ draws big names via LostRemote

“Two big-name entrepreneurs, Sean Parker (Napster, Facebook, Causes) and Shawn Fanning (Napster, Path) are teaming up to create Airtime, a social video company”

Badgeville powers gamified reality TV show Escape Routes via Venture Beat

“Gamification, the use of game-like rewards in non-game applications, is moving into reality TV. Badgeville will provide gamified achievements to the multiplatform reality TV series Ford Escape Routes, where six teams of two people compete in a road trip competition from city to city.”

What’s on the Second Screen? via Hip Genius

“With so many social TV applications on the market, it can get confusing to remember which one does what. That is why I am here, to help sort through the clutter and provide and easy guide to social TV.”

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