Social TV Week In Review: Fear and Fortuity in the New TV Landscape

Technology is radically changing consumer behavior and forcing the TV industry to adapt. Out of chaos comes opportunity.

Chaos: DVR and Cross Platform Fragmentation – Are Nielsen’s overnight ratings loosing relevance?

This week, USA Today illustrated how Nielsen’s time-shifted data, coming in weeklong delay, can rebrand networks as winners or losers. Furthermore, “Just 47% of viewing by young-adult DVR users was live, down from 61% four years earlier”. If these trends continue, the traditional overnight ratings will loose value as the currency of the TV economy.

Two separate analyses conducted by comScore and Arbitron and backed by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, found multi-screen TV engagement is on the rise (see articles below). Jeff Siegel, SVP of Worldwide Advertising at Rovi, acknowledges, “Challenges exist for advertisers as they strive to measure effectiveness of campaigns on new platforms and across a fragmented viewership”. With cross platform and social media measurement in increasingly high demand, traditional overnight ratings will further decrease in value.

Opportunity: Big Data and Social TV

Its not all doom and gloom. Eric Savitz, writing for Forbes, claims OTT distribution may actually be strengthening viewer relationships with brands by creating more opportunities for interaction. Among the more exciting perks waiting online are enhanced CRM capabilities and, once the wrinkles are ironed out, the tremendous power of big data.

Start-ups, television manufacturers and cable operators are scrambling to market with second screen applications designed to bring wandering consumers back into the fold. Albert Cheng, executive VP of digital media and chief product officer at Disney-ABC Television Group, remains skeptical of Social TV, citing a relatively small audience and the cost of having writers create supplementary content. Still brands and networks from Viacom, Discovery Communications, the Food Network, USA, A&E, Coke and Pepsi are all wading into the Social TV waters (see related articles below) hoping to cash in.

For all this news and more (Twitter is launching brand pages surrounding hashtags!) keep reading the Social TV News.

DVRs shift viewing habits, and ratings via USA Today

The increasing usage of digital video recorders, which easily allow viewers to postpone watching their favorite shows, has vastly complicated the math of TV ratings, new Nielsen data show…But viewers rarely delay reality shows, news, awards telecasts and sports programming by more than a day. Sitcoms and dramas are most prone to procrastination, accounting for 29 of the top 30 gainers… Just 47% of viewing by young-adult DVR users was live, down from 61% four years earlier…genre shows airing on low-rated Fridays got the biggest bump.

From apps to measurement: helping the connected TV ecosystem earn gold this summer via MediaTel

…challenges exist for advertisers as they strive to measure effectiveness of campaigns on new platforms and across a fragmented viewership. The Games will indeed be a barometer for the industry looking at new ways to bring content to consumers on connected TVs and devices, and new metrics to measure success on this platform…As connected TVs and devices continue to make their way into living rooms all over the world, the industry is in need of developing ad models that keep pace with the transformation in the entertainment landscape. In response to the need for more advanced reporting and measurement capabilities and to help advertisers and brands comprehensively measure ROI, Rovi has created a new standard for television ad measurement with the development of Rovi Analytics.

TV App Agency: Segmentation is the big challenge for TV app developers via IP&TV News

The key challenge facing app developers for connected TV platforms is segmentation, according to Bruno Pereira, Director and Founder of the TV App Agency…“We see the world divided in four quadrants – online, tablets, mobile and connected TVs. If you are doing a strategy around the four, for sure you will be successful.”

New Studies Address Multiscreen Viewing, Measurement Capabilities via MediaPost

…a considerable number of viewers are accessing related content on multiple screens, while suggesting that simultaneous use of TV and another device should continue to rise. The studies were commissioned by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM),  a group that includes networks, advertisers and agencies, to gain insight into how the industry can move forward in tracking video content across the TV, PC and mobile outlets.

Online Video Use Boosts TV Viewing, Engagement, comScore Study Finds via MediaPost

…the online scope of TV networks is growing, according to a just-released comScore study. About 26% of audiences are reached with content online, and 12% specifically with online video, comScore said in analyzing the results of a study of 10 TV networks and media brands

Beyond ‘Must See TV’ via Forbes

NBC exec Warren Littlefield‘s new book, Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV, argues that drawing large, diverse live audiences for broadcast TV is impossible today… Today, consumers have a myriad programming choices and an ever-expanding array of viewing options. Advances in personal technologies, from DVRs and on-demand TV to smartphones and tablet PCs, have raised audience expectations and given them immense control over the viewing experience…Social media and Internet video have also changed what people consider entertainment…Many broadcasters, initially threatened by the prospect of so-called ‘over-the-top’ Internet distribution of video content, now see an opportunity for deepening viewer engagement and interaction…Fragmentation may seem like a threat to traditional broadcasters, but the popularity and power of network TV may actually be enhanced in the new world of TV…The ability to monetize across multiple platforms is powerful and allows broadcasters to reach new audiences in new ways.

Second thoughts on the second screen at ABC via Variety

In lieu of a truly mass audience, the real appeal of second screen is attracting marketers to an opportunity to extend their buys beyond the 30-second spot… ABC wanted the writers of “Anatomy” to be involved in supplying the extra content that flowed through the app, but the expense doesn’t justify the return, particularly when you factor in the cost of scaling up to more than one show.

Meet the Wild West of Television: The ‘Second Screen’ via The Wrap Media

…networks have launched apps and websites offering content related to their shows and social media chatter around those shows. In the process, they are competing with start-ups, television manufacturers and cable operators to see who can best take advantage not only of the proliferation of devices but of the rise of social media… There will be consolidation, as some companies fold into others or networks buy emerging start-ups. There will be further research and data collected around consumer habits. There will be improvements in user experience. There will be further synchronization of those second screens with the television, unless smart TVs render it all irrelevant.

Companion apps – how will the future TV be controlled by tablets? via Apps Tech News

Of course, once consumers use a tablet with its fluid and natural user interface, the remote control is less attractive, and the natural desire to use the tablet to interact and control the TV is strong.

The future of TV (maybe) via Fortune

Years after major cable companies unveiled “TV everywhere” initiatives and giants Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and Microsoft (MSFT) began peddling hardware to beam the Internet to televisions, the merging of the Net and the tube is incomplete.

The deadly internet is on the prowl, could TV be the next victim? via Amped Social

we are happy to discover our own content. We are no longer a society that sits down to watch TV for the whole evening. We are out with our friends, we are active online and when we want to catch up with particular programmes we either record them or watch them on catch up.

How Many Social-TV Apps Can Consumers Be Expected to Use? via Ad Age

Today, TVGuide.com and USA Network are formally announcing that USA’s Character Chatter platform, which until now has had its exclusive home on usanetwork.com and USA’s family of mobile/social apps and sites, will now also live on TVGuide.com.

A nation of audience participation via The Gaurdian

“Tablets and laptops will become the way that people watch television in the future,” says Richard Welsh, creative director of multiplatform producer Bigballs Films. “The box in the corner will become the second screen.”…Because traditional documentaries have such a tight narrative arc, there is little room to interfere with the story. “The material that is least conducive is the stuff that’s most perfectly formed,” says Gee.

Social TV: Forget the Telly You Once Knew via The B2B Guide to Social Media

Viewers may be able to easily eliminate the middleman of cable and satellite companies and pay for their viewing directly, and a la carte.  Many networks, particularly Disney properties like ESPN, might appreciate no longer having to contentiously negotiate rates with cable providers.  Viewers would have control like never before…But along with live TV driving so much social engagement, there’s also evidence Social TV is likewise influencing the value of programs for marketers…Networks are also using social to measure how well their ad spend is doing, conduct real-time audience research, fine-tune content so that it better resonates with the core audience, see how promos for new shows are resonating, and show advertisers the value of the second screen.

VivaKi’s Scheppach: ‘ITV’ Is Dead, But Set-Top Box Advertising’s Alive And Well via Adexchanger.com

Tracey Scheppach, EVP, innovations director for Publicis Groupe’s SMGx and VivaKi, “the fact that a new technology is gaining momentum that allows TV content to be synchronized with a second screen (like a tablet, smartphone or computer), is why I believe ITV will be dead…ITV needs to be reimagined, repositioned and rebranded…if we look to the future of television with the widely available AutoHop feature in the picture, there are really four possible outcomes: consumers pay more for content; advertisers pay more for spots; content is cheapened or gone; or we adopt a new ad model that is relevant to consumers (and which they welcome)…The biggest lesson I have learned in the past four years of running The Pool is this: collaboration is possible and the only way we can solve the issues that confront our industry…There is so much “innovation” chaos in the TV/Video marketplace it can be dizzying. But when you break it down, it is quite simple. We need to do three things well: big data, better delivery, and kick ass participation experiences.

Social Tv: How to create your own experience via SocialWithIt

What happened with the show La Noria was even worst. Thousands of tweets caused advertisers to stop promoting the show, due to a controversial interview. La Noria was finally removed from the grid.

Social media to drive “appointment to view” during summer of sport via IP&TV News

This year’s sporting fiestas will see substantial social media engagement, according to the survey, with more than one in four viewers (26%) expecting to share their sports viewing experiences online – rising to 45% for the 25-34 age group. Just over a fifth of those online (21%) will share and discuss events via Facebook, with women (23%) more likely than men (19%) to use this social media channel.

Apple TV Will Change the Content We Consume on All Our Screens Forever via Forbes

…when and if Apple goes into the actual TV set making business is not the critical factor. How Apple enfolds the TV screen, the biggest screen in our lives, into an iOS app ecosystem is.

Twitter Uses Its First TV Ad As An Opportunity To Launch Hashtag Pages via TechCrunch

The bigger picture here, though, is that this is the first instance of Twitter launching a brand page based on its hashtag. And the NASCAR campaign, as well as the TV spot, aren’t just aimed at race fans — they’re also a pitch to a whole bunch of other brand marketers as a way to show off what Twitter’s hashtag pages are capable of.

TV partners embed video on Twitter in new expanded Tweets via LostRemote

Using this feature, you can create a new distribution channel to help reinforce tune-in. And remember, these Tweets can be pinned to the top of your profile page to increase awareness… Expanded Tweets are rolling out today on Twitter.com, with the iPhone and Android apps coming soon. This is one more way that Twitter is becoming more like a media destination, beefing up its relationships with TV and strengthening its second screen experience.

Twitter’s Big Pitch to Big Brands: You Want Space? We Got Space. via AllThingsD

all of this is important to Twitter because, while it hopes that the self-serve ads it launched earlier this year become the equivalent of Google’s AdWords engine, it also wants cool stuff it can sell to the Pepsis of the world.

Interview: zeebox CTO Anthony Rose on their Euro 2012 strategy via Futurescape

If you watch at home on your telly, although millions are watching, you’re really watching alone. With zeebox you can join in the action… there is also group chat, so you can create viewing parties with your friends as well… We think that celebrities and sports people will be creating viewing parties within zeebox and sharing those group chat links… What we do in zeebox is we designate you as watching [a programme] if you’re watching for more than 30 seconds.

Zeebox to launch in the U.S. within 60 days via GigaOM

the company has seen one million app downloads in the U.K. since its launch last November…this rate of adoption should make it possible to get six million U.S. users within the first half year of operating stateside.

Social TV May Mean Money, Viewer Loyalty for News via RTDNA

ConnecTV is a single “second-screen app” that allows the user to interact with hundreds of programs – syndicated shows, prime-time fare and live programming, such as sporting events and newscasts… Of course, ratings are all about revenue, and one of the most attractive things about second-screen apps is the potential for advertising dollars.  Bradley says in the ConnecTV app, there is a frame dedicated to ads.

New Social TV App Launches Support for 85 Local Stations via SocialTimes

ConnecTV, a slick iPad application has just announced a major partnership with 85 network television affiliates that will bring Social TV features to local stations.

Broadcasters Go Live With ConnecTV via Broadcasting & Cable

The launch represents the largest social TV effort by local stations…”We see ConnecTV as a way for our communities to come together in a single, standardized digital extension of our broadcast platforms, and engage in dialogue around the information and entertainment most relevant to them.”

YouTube chief mulls paid subscription via Reuters

YouTube is exploring selling subscriptions to access to some of its video offerings, potentially providing a way for certain cable channels to be available outside the traditional “bundles” offered by cable network providers, said YouTube boss Salar Kamangar.

Food Network Gets Powerful Social Engagement With a Simple Technique via Read Write Web

Food Network put a Twitter hashtag onscreen throughout the episode. This small move increased viewer engagement while allowing fans to interact with on-air personalities…David Griner, director of digital content at the ad agency Luckie and a regular contributor to AdWeek’s AdFreaks blog, said television show producers are learning what advertisers already know: An online platform increases an ad campaign’s (or television show’s) reach. Griner pointed to statistics that show the average television ad campaign has 50% reach. Add in a social media campaign and the number jumps to 57%.

‘Campfire’ fans the flames of social TV community via LostRemote

Campfire uses social storytelling, digital content and physical experiences to help TV networks ignite fan cultures and communities that they’ll need to successfully launch a show or a new season…At Campfire we always try to lean into existing audience behaviors, not try and invent new ones…A strong fan base is the most important thing a TV show can develop and when handled well it can propel a show into the pop culture stratosphere.

Discovery: Brands Should Aim At Social Influencers via MediaPost

In keeping with its focus on social media, the cable giant [Discovery Communications] has released research underscoring the importance of keying on “influencers” to drive social marketing efforts. According to the study, the “universe” of social influencers begins with the four in 10 who say they “like” content on Facebook to let their friends and family know about products and services. The findings, based on a March survey of 400 casual-to-frequent Discovery viewers who have opted to preview programming, notes that nearly eight in 10 of Facebook and Twitter users “like” or “follow” a brand, but a smaller subset (28%) are fans of more than 20 brands… The report outlines some familiar tactics for engaging influences: contests and coupons, funny or entertaining page posts, providing exclusive content, and connecting “likes” to nonprofit causes like pet adoption or finding disease cures to boost brand awareness.

Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble Lead the way into the New Advertising Era of SocialTV…A Money Machine via Forbes

The new trend in advertising is to go direct to the consumers and cutting the middleman out – broadcast networks…TV advertising is quickly moving to the web at large scales and we are seeing the direct business model come to life via content. I have been following this trend for sometime and think that social infrastructure has finally matured to satisfy the needs of big time marketing and advertising executives.   Why?  Because with Big Data advertisers can measure it in real time and use that data to enhance both the user experience and the value to the marketer…TV Advertising is going direct to consumers thanks to social platforms like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and the zillions of smartphones connected to networks of systems, applications, friends and peers.   I expect dollars to start flowing from TV spend to online Social TV very quickly…SocialTV is a money machine in the making.  Next generation agencies will make a killing if they can get on board with the new trend.

Viacom launches ‘first social TV activation’ across multiple brands with Pepsi via LostRemote

the core of the campaign will happen via hashtag-based contests that will then be featured on TV spots and in shows across CMT, VH1, Comedy Central and MTV.

USA ‘Suits Up’ to Social TV With ‘Suits Recruits’ via Mashable

Known as “Suits Recruits,” the interactive and social media-laden experience allows fans to join the team…the storyline was written by Suits writers. …“Suits Recruits” is sponsored by Lexus. Lexus also advertises on Suits, which helps show that social TV tie-ins can be a value-add to advertisers.

Exclusive: A&E launches social challenge for ‘Barter Kings’ via LostRemote

Barter Kings is all about this thriving subculture of entrepreneurs who barter for items they want using their own networking channels, expertise and influence without spending a dime.  We wanted to extend this skill into the social space, and see how we could leverage everyday people who are influential in their own right, and create a parallel social storyline.

Twitter’s #SocialTV Best Practices Guide for producers. via Tactica Interactive Communications

With networks working overtime to harness the realtime conversations happening about their shows on Twitter, the kings of the Second Screen have written a guide to facilitating the chatter.



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