Social TV Week In Review: What Was Hot This Week? Upfronts, Mobile, TV Everywhere and Technology!

Upfronts were in full swing this past week and LostRemote supplied great coverage of how Social TV is figuring its way into the industry’s various agendas. As to be expected, talk of Social TV was cited in boasts of impressive stats, e.g. “look ma, CBS has 167M social media fans!” Irrespective of the particular network claim, the takeaway is meaningful; for the first time ever, social data is being brought to the forefront of the highest-level sales pitches in the country.

Beyond a superficial touting of Social TV success stories, Colleen Fahey Rush, EVP and Chief Research Officer for Viacom Media Networks; Kristin Frank, SVP of Digital at MTV and VH1; and Ryan Osborn, senior director, Digital Media, at NBC News (to name a few cited below) offered some down to earth assessments of the impact of social media on television. All agreed that developing deeper fan engagement in the ‘always on’ environment of Social TV is essential to their future operations.

For those who are not Digital or Social Media VP’s and directors, there may still be some doubt. When does Social TV move past a hyper social few to truly connect the viewing masses? Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV and TV Online Content for BBC Vision, has a piece of the answer; a wider adoption of connected devices in the living room will make Social TV engagement more natural and continue to shift viewer’s habits. Andrew Fisher, CEO of Shazam, identifies mobile devices as the primary catalyst for these changes and an IAB/Ipsos MediaCT study released this week would seem to confirm the smartphone is the favored device for connecting with TV (see below).

Beyond smartphones, technology is blazing trails for the TV industry on every level. TV Everywhere distribution is helping News Corp. keep their bundles and increase their pricing, but it may also force companies such as HBO to re-think business models and follow in the steps of Netflix. Technology has also opened the doors for Tribune Media Service to announce a recent partnership with Digitalsmiths. Just when you thought the second screen market was ready for consolidation, TMS will use Digitalsmiths’ Seamless Discovery platform to offer app developers 20 different APIs. This will grant them far easier access to the largest stockpile of TV metadata about shows and movies.

Growth may continue for some time as better technology and a more tech savvy consumers create additional opportunities in the Social TV space, but eventually sustainable business models built around advertising dollars will separate the wheat from the chaff. Moving beyond voting and check-in features, the UK based second screen company, Zeebox, is doing precisely that, positioning itself for ad dollars with ‘zeetags’.

There’s a whole lot more in the Social TV news this week. Keep reading to for these and other stories.

Social TV highlights from the CBS upfront via LostRemote

President of Entertainment Nina Tassler discussed the importance of social TV through their presentations…Tassler proudly showed off Connect to the audience while describing their 167,000,000 plus social media fans.

Peter Rice on social TV at the Fox upfront via LostRemote

“We’re delivering both impressions and expressions that makes Fox the number one network on TV and social.” He announced that last year, “we talked about having 159 million fans” and that, “this year we grew to over 230 million fans,” that they’re “talking to all the time.”

Viacom Media Networks’ “Social TV: Viewers C’s the Moment” Study Reveals Three C’s To the Social TV Experience: Communication, Content, Comments via App Market.TV

The new research reveals that consumers engaging in social TV activities “C’s the moment” primarily by communicating, consuming content and checking comments…”One of the main goals of this research was to understand how to inspire social TV activity among our audiences,” said Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks. “At VMN, we’re focused on leveraging our fans’ attachment to their favorite shows by developing compelling social TV services and apps that deepen those connections and unlock the value of social chatter.”

Social TV Twice As Popular For Live Vs. Time-Shifted Viewing: Study via Multichannel News

Social TV: 5 Things to Know Before You Turn On via The Content Lab

The development of digital social media has created an always-on environment, beyond any we have ever had. Ryan Osborn, senior director, Digital Media, at NBC News, called TV the original real time platform; now, it is just one piece of the real time society we live in. MTV’s Frank reminded us that “Fans don’t stop being fans when the show is over.” If a brand is going to create a social experience and interact with communities, it will need to follow through.

The Voice – Australia’s best example yet of social TV via mUmBRELLA

Ultimately The Voice’s success in social media lies in thinking of itself not as a television broadcast on Mondays with social amplification but an ongoing, multi-channel experience with the right channel choices for the right elements of the story. Viewers are just as important as the contestants and judges in determining the way the stories evolve and, when given easy and multiple means for doing so at opportune moments are more likely to get involved.

Peer into the Future: Second Screen Social TV Companion Apps and the BBC via App Market.TV

At the BBC blog, Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV and TV Online Content, BBC Vision, presented an overview of the BBC’s editorial approach to companion experiences… “As more and more internet connected devices enter the living room, we can extend entertainment beyond broadcast and the TV screen, bringing our shows to life for audiences in ever more exciting ways.”

Is All TV Social By Design? Creating a Model for Social TV, Part 1 via Red Bee Media

This area is certainly worth investigating and raises the question – when should TV content creators augment their linear broadcast with the second screen and when should they not?.. Some genres such as dramas anticipate 100% focus from the audience – miss ten seconds while you send a text and it could ruin the entire show as you missed a pivotal moment.

Interactive TV and the ‘Second-Screen’ Experience via Huffington Post UK

Andrew Fisher CEO, Shazam writes, “Smartphones and mobile usage is rapidly taking over as a standard way of life – in fact, within the next three years, mobile access to the internet will surpass that of computers. When you look at these findings together, you have more than a trend – you have a tidal wave that points to mobile devices, be they phone or tablet, as the ideal candidate to revolutionize interactive television… All signs point to mobile technology being the cornerstone of interactive television… Mobile has revolutionised the very act of watching television itself, opening up many possibilities for the future of television programming, advertising and fans alike, but this is just the start.

Smartphones Are First Choice For Second Screen via MediaPost

A clear majority of TV viewers (63%) are consulting a connected device while watching TV, a new IAB/Ipsos MediaCT study shows. But among those “second screeners” the smartphone was the most popular multitasking device among 45% of respondents — the tablet with 30% and the familiar computer with only 21%… The IAB study finds that the majority of users are engaged in a range of activities that have little to do with the TV content: email, social networking, text messaging. On the other hand, 45% of smartphone and 30% of tablet multi-iscreeners are doing something on their devices related to the show itself… On the other hand, 45% of smartphone and 30% of tablet multi-iscreeners are doing something on their devices related to the show itself…In fact, voice chatting over smartphones during a show is as popular as engaging friends on the social network (20%).

TV Viewers Carry the Conversation to Social Networks via eMarketer

Viewers are not only availing themselves of new paths to content, they also are now watching shows in a variety of ways. More than one-third of respondents watched TV programs on an over-the-top device or via another alternative platform at least once a month, according to the survey…But the survey also found that the TV set still commands attention in the living room.

DISH Steps Up TV Everywhere Technology With Enhanced App for iPad via Nasdaq

DISH (NASDAQ: DISH), one of the nation’s leading pay-TV providers, is making TV and on-demand programs more engaging to watch on the iPad with the revamped DISH Remote Access app. Available now, this free app improves the performance and enhances the on-screen dashboard so customers can easily find and watch their favorite programs on the popular mobile device…”The magic of our app is that it extends the value of DISH programming beyond the home. Customers can watch their programs anywhere and, with this upgrade, the viewing experience is even better.”

Carey: TV Everywhere can help subscribers swallow rate hikes via FierceCable

Asked on News Corp.’s third-quarter 2012 earnings call about how the company can continue to increase fees for its cable networks while preserving large bundles of cable networks, [News Corp. Deputy Chairman and COO Chase Carey] said TV Everywhere distribution is vital…The company has reached TVE distribution deals with DirecTV, Dish Networks (Nasdaq: DISH), Mediacom Communications and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). The media giant is also tying retransmission-consent terms for its Fox-owned-and operated TV stations in distribution deals that include TV Everywhere rights. News Corp. said that it doubled its retransmission-consent revenue in the first quarter, which helped its TV division generate operating income of $171 million.

8 Key iTV Learnings from TV Everywhere Conference via InteractiveTV Commerce

…a number of MSOs operators noted research findings that customers indeed valued their subscriptions more highly with TV Everywhere capabilities.

TV junkies rejoice—you can now watch shows and movies just about everywhere via Consumer Reports

Broadcasters and TV providers are giving customers more ways to view the content they’re already paying for, rather than forking over more money to streaming video services such as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix—or even cutting the cord to traditional TV and using only those alternative services…Here’s a quick look at what some of the major TV service providers are offering in the way of TV Everywhere service, which hasn’t yet quite lived up to its name…

Why HBO Banks on iPad via Digiday

HBO isn’t ready to upend its business model just yet with the success of HBO Go, but the early signs are that it’s a valued add-on to HBO’s cable-dependent model. Gene Liebel, chief strategy officer at Huge, which works with HBO: “[Publishers are] used to running on one or two platforms, and suddenly you are being asked to be something like Netflix, with consumers asking you for more platforms,” Liebel said. “A bigger team is needed. And if you are busy thinking about the different platforms, then you are forced to act more like a software company like Netflix.”

Second Screen TV Apps Poised to Accelerate With TMS-Digitalsmiths APIs via Videonuze

The nascent market for second screen TV apps on mobile devices – whether from pay-TV operators, content providers, CE/SmartTV manufacturers or social media/discovery startups – is poised to accelerate due to a deal announced yesterday between Tribune Media Services (TMS) and Digitalsmiths. That’s because TMS, which is the largest provider of metadata about TV shows and movies will now use Digitalsmiths’ Seamless Discovery platform to offer 20 different APIs allowing app developers far easier access to the data than ever before.

Britain’s Got Talent final: apps compete for companion screen audience via Videonet

It is hoped that by analysing everything that is broadcast on TV, understanding second-by-second what is contained within it and then converting that into contextual opportunities, advertising will follow.

The Future of TV: Advertising Revolution via CNBC

Marketers are increasingly learning from the Super Bowl’s advertising bonanza, when some 30-second spots have much more value, and longer life online than their punch during the game itself. That is to say, the best ads can multiply their impact by many times by going viral. Thebottom line, as CEO of Funny or Die Dick Glover put it, “people don’t hate all ads, they just hate bad advertising.”

The Four Most Underhyped Trends In Social TV via TechCrunch

The Internet has disrupted a great many things, and we’ve seen startups emerge to tear down many sectors… But when it comes to TV, it’s just not as simple as all that… we can see the signs that disruption could and should occur. I’d argue, however, that the real interesting thing happening is the intra-industry battles.

Mass Relevance raises $3.3 million in new funding via LostRemote

Another burst of cash for the quickly-growing social TV space: this time, Austin-based Mass Relevance has closed a $3.3 million series A round led by Austin Ventures. The company says it plans to use the investment to accelerate growth among media, entertainment, consumer brands and retailers.

Tweeting TV: How Twitter Has Changed The Business Of Television via Huffington Post

Social media has become such a huge part of the TV landscape that any network not securing a simple, memorable handle for their new shows is way behind. (Also, any network that lets a show title like “How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” get approved is obviously not in the business of listening to their social media team.

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