Social TV Week in Review: Who’s Your Social Audience? Why Discovery Matters? What Do Mark Cuban, NBCUni and Google All Have in Common?

In today’s hyper connected world, the modern television viewer is being super served its stimulation. New channels have steadily trickled into our homes, expanding our content options to the degree that few of us even recognize all the offerings available to us. Now the Internet has truly released the floodgates. To keep us from drowning in content, Social TV is helping viewers focus on ‘discovery’, or finding the content they like to watch. Trusted opinions are more valued than ever and what better source for recommendations than our friends?

The media savvy, advertising hardened consumer is less susceptible to corporate persuasion, but Social TV is teaching networks and advertisers to exercise a softer sell. Marketers are hoping to raise the communities, born organically from Social media, around their brands and programs.  But of course there is a cost; a wall of one-way communication no longer insulates content creators and distributors from feedback and, potentially, backlash.Today’s viewer can interact with talent, writers, producers, and programs for the first time and so it is essential for the creators to know just who their audiences are.

This week the profile of the Social TV consumer is coming into focus. Nielsen has released a study showing women are more likely to be on the Internet in some form while watching TV. Relatively new data on tablet behavior confirms our preconceptions of two-screen viewing: younger audiences are on social media, men care about ‘the game’ and women are finding deals on shopping. Still the importance of identifying behavioral trends will be magnified as more tablets hit the market.

With upfronts well underway, networks from Oxygen to media giants like NBCUni are paving the future with promises of connected Social TV experiences. Mark Cuban has signed on to Social TV by pouring money into second screen app, Flingo, and Google is hosting TV hackatons to see what ideas stick.

Yet for all the excitement, a look at the ratio of Internet to TV ad spending provides a sobering view. It seems advertising money still flows in the direction of tradition. eMarketer provides a consolation of sorts, claiming, “In terms of integrated planning, 48% of respondents said they currently plan TV ads and [online] video together—and another 25% said they are planning to do so within the next 12 months”.

All this and more in this week’s Social TV News.

Nielsen: Women more likely to visit a social networking site while watching TV via GigaOM

“Women are 6% more likely to visit a social networking site and 6% more likely to check email during a TV program”

What TV viewers are doing on their tablets [study] via LostRemote

“The data isn’t terribly surprising: email is the top activity, men check sports scores more than women, women are slightly more interested in deals and coupons, and younger users are more inclined to use social media while watching TV.”

Tablet computers have become the second TV – major disruption ahead via Silicon Republic

“Tablet computers are beginning to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar TV business and by 2016 112.5m US consumers will own one.”

TV’s double vision, when 1 screen isn’t enough via Huffington Post

“Now, thanks to ‘second screens’ and the social media they convey, the TV audience can talk among themselves. As they engage in the new pastime of virtual co-viewing, they can express their likes and dislikes in a massive, global back-and-forth. What’s more, they are heard, and often heeded, by the presenters of those programs.”

One in four ‘abandoning scheduled TV’ via The Telegraph

“More than half (53 per cent) of 18-24 year olds who own a smart TV have abandoned ‘linear’ TV altogether, as have 51 per cent of Smart TV owners with pre-school children, according to a YouGov survey…Consumers also say they pay more attention to advertising on Smart TVs, with 29 per cent remembering adverts, compared to 14 per cent for conventional TV.”

CHART OF THE DAY: Internet Advertising Is Still Dwarfed By TV via Business Insider

“…the truth is that taken as a whole, the Internet still badly lags the TV industry. As you can see here, the Internet is less than half of the total ad spend on TV.”

Marketers Attempt to Align Online Video and TV Campaigns via eMarketer

“Spending on online video in alignment with TV advertising is a promising trend for marketers as they seek to broaden reach and interact with consumers on multiple screens. The synergy can be complicated, though, given a lack of unified measurement and the nascence of the online video market…In terms of integrated planning, 48% of respondents said they currently plan TV ads and video together—and another 25% said they are planning to do so within the next 12 months.”

Multiplatform TV: Stir The Social TV Conversation, But Not Too Much. Panelists: Social Campaigns Can Boost Ratings, If They’re Done Right via Multichannel News

“Networks can juice their TV ratings and keep a show’s super-fans engaged through a deft use of social media — but the efforts can backfire if they’re out of sync with the Facebook and Twitter crowd…What’s difficult for marketers to accept is that with social media, they can’t control the message — and not all the feedback is positive”

Google Chats About Its First TV Hackathon And Why Discovery Code Is Critical via Forbes

“we’ve seen that discovery and lean-back are two core television experiences – especially when driven by curators and friends that share your taste…Deja showed the importance of bringing the lean-back experience to connected TVs”

Inside look at NBCU’s first Digital NewFront via LostRemote

NBCU Chairman Lauren Zalaznick says,Well I think social TV just makes television stronger. All the gross ratings points that are out there get activated and amplified. When they combine first screen with second and third screen. TV has always been social, now that we’ve got the hardware, i.e. the smart screen, the software, otherwise known as the social networks, it’s all converged to make social TV really just explode. This is no fad, it’s a trend. TV has always been social, now it’s super social.”

For TV networks, social is hugely important via USA Today

“For a small but very influential segment of the TV audience, the notion of passive viewing has changed dramatically.”

E! emphasizes social reach and tablet friendliness at upfront via LostRemote

“Seacrest stated that E is not just the number ten network on Twitter, but the number ten brand.…a brand new show called ‘Opening Act.’…Created by Emmy winning produce Nigel Lythgoe, the show aims to be the un-American Idol or The Voice built for a social media world…E! will be redesigning their website to be more tablet friendly with more social features”

Oxygen Channel’s Social TV Platform Arrives May 18 via Mashable

“The Oxygen Channel is launching a new social TV platform for fans of its programming this month. The platform — Oxygen Connect — will offer viewers web exclusives, challenges for incentives and a central place to vote during competition shows.”

Mark Cuban invests in social TV startup Flingo via LostRemote

“We have also developed a platform for these companies to synchronize their TV app with linear programming to enable interactive TV features on top of the traditional, scheduled TV.”

Shazam: The Secret to Better TV Engagement? via Mashable

“The bottom line? Jones says that incorporating Shazam into television — whether through ads, scripted series or live television — equals increased engagement. When comparing Shazam’s tags to Facebook Likes or tweets, data from an average show indicates that there are more tags through Shazam than tweets and Likes combined on day of air.”

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