Social TV Week In Review: Taking Stock of NBC’s “Social Olympics”

NBC’s first ever ‘Social Olympics’ end tonight and with that its time to take a look at what it called a ‘grand experiment’.

The Loss

No sooner had the games begun than #NBCFail became a rallying cry against tape delay. A very vocal online community assailed the network’s decision to keep them from watching live alongside the global community.

The Win

The network landed 1 Billion in ad revenue. When the overnights came in, NBC knew everything was going to be ok. Ratings were at record highs, up over the wildly successful Beijing Olympics.

The Lesson

At the end of the day, NBC executives ruled that live streaming had encouraged primetime tune-in, rather than detracted from it. In other words, those who were watching the games first online were instrumental in convincing the rest of the population to tune in later.

Bearing that in mind, let’s reconsider the ad spending breakdown: Of the 1 Billion spent, only 6% of it was digital!

Primetime TV continues to be the biggest pull for advertisers, but an early adopting, extremely vocal and highly influential audience is getting passed over on digital channels. The promise of Social TV lies is understanding, engaging and measuring this important segment of the population. It’s something to keep in mind for the next time around.

For more of this week’s Social TV news, keep reading

NBC exec: Live streaming Olympic events helped prime time via USA Today

To give perspective on the relative reach of TV vs. digital, consider that while NBC prime time averages 31.1 million viewers, online NBC averaged 8.56 million streams per days – which in itself is up 133% from Beijing. But only 10 events at the London Games drew more than 1 million live streams…And then there’s the money. National Olympic TV ad revenues will top $1 billion, with more than 80% of that total coming from prime time. NBC says its Olympic digital ad sales will amount to about $60 million.

#NBCFail: spoilers feed prime time, ‘silent majority’ happy, NBC says via paidContent

“Viewers who streamed live events on Saturday were nearly twice as likely to watch the prime-time broadcast, and spent 50 percent more time watching that those who didn’t stream.” We listen to (the criticism of a) very loud minority. But the silent majority has been with us…The defense, of course, exposes the overarching importance of television’s old prime time advertising slot in an emerging IP world that, at least to fans who care enough, has so much more potential for real-time immediacy.

Lessons to be learned from the first social media Olympics via The Guardian

the relationship between media operators and technology is at its best when it is actively trying to give people what they want. Secondly, it is at its worst (as NBC’s peerlessly awful efforts in the US show) when preventing people from getting what they want… When live events attract a worldwide audience, the audience now brings its own infrastructure with it. The “second screen” is not a passive experience, but one where people share information and make up for the deficits of what is on the first screen.

The most ‘Shazamed’ moments of the Olympics via Lost Remote

Shazam is coming out with their most “Shazamed” Olympic moments…they’ve reached 5 billion total tags since they launched in the early iPhone days, an impressive milestone.

Legislative change would allow Netflix users to Facebook their video viewing via LA Times

A proposed amendment to a U.S. cyber-security bill would allow Netflix users to share information about their latest movie rentals with Facebook friends

CNN Joins Social TV via Mashable

Moving even further, Facebook will report the collective amount of conversations around each candidate for CNN to run a state-by-state analysis. CNN hopes this reporting, combined with the social shares around each candidate, will prompt more Americans to vote and get involved with the issues that matter most.

Rostelecom: “Cloud-based service provisioning is the only way to provide a real multiscreen TV service” via IP&TV News

Andrey Kholodny, director of media products at Russia’s Rostelecom, on integrating Facebook into TV services, and the costs currently involved in developing companion screen experiences…we’ve conducted bi-dimensional social network integration – users announce what they are watching, and their friends are able to join in viewing by simply clicking on a Facebook post… Using cloud-based service provisioning is the only way to provide a real multiscreen TV service.

Look Ma, TV! First broadcast TV phone appears on MetroPCS via GigaOM

MetroPCS on Friday began selling the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G, the first U.S. smartphone to pluck local broadcasters’ TV signals out of the air… The venture may be too late to market to have any kind of impact though. Since participating in the Dyle program requires having local TV spectrum, only the networks, their local affiliates and independent broadcasters can participate. Meanwhile, consumers are not only shifting their viewing to paid cable programming, but also looking to new sources of streamed video on the internet, mobile phone and connected TV platforms.

The End of Channel Surfing? via WSJ

App developers are updating the traditional channel guide to show viewers programs that are uniquely relevant to them based on their social circles… Other start-ups have early deals with larger players—for instance, GetGlue’s app will soon act as a remote for DirecTV’s DTV +3.17% set-top boxes—but it is still very early days. Content providers are wary of giving information over to third parties, rather than trying to build the technology themselves.

Tablet Use as TV Companion Grows, Study Finds via MediaPost

Tablet owners are twice as likely as smartphone owners to watch full episodes of TV shows and they spend 50% more time viewing during an average session… Not only are consumers turning to tablets to watch TV episodes, they’re also using tablets to engage in social media and make purchases while watching TV programs… Tablet users say they are more likely to turn to TV apps for viewing shows, while smartphone users tend to rely on the TV apps for social media, schedules or the occasional clip


Logitech has just announced the Logitech® TV Cam HD, which seamlessly transforms Skype video calls into an experience that can involve the whole family or groups of friends on each end of the call… This is the next step to making TVoip a standard in the living room.

Nielsen Uses TV and Web Data in New Targeting Effort via Adweek

Nielsen Online Audience Segments—TV Viewing, a program that’s designed to let a brand target online consumers based on their television and Web-viewing habits… if brands—a Trader Joe’s or a Zappos, perhaps—want to target cord cutters with online ads, Carson said his system could suss out that audience segment… “Data that allows advertisers to focus on the consumer, rather than on the device, will lead to a more holistic assessment of campaign results and, ultimately, to a truer assessment of ROI.”… Nearly one year ago, the New York-based company launched its online campaign ratings (OCR) system, which aims to provide reach, frequency and gross rating point (GRP) metrics for Internet advertising. In April, it rolled out a cross-platform campaign measurement service that combines information from Nielsen’s OCR product and its television audience measurement system.


…people used the app to identify songs and interact with TV content five billion times… the ability to see the future is not necessarily by design, but the benefit of the huge amount of song requests, or tags, pouring into Shazam daily–10 million of them.

NBC’s ‘Grimm’ Embraces the Second Screen [EXCLUSIVE] via Mashable

The Grimm interactive companion follows a growing trend of second screen ebooks. Last month, TNT launched a free interactive book through Apple’s iBookstore to accompany the fourth season of Leverage.

5 Trends Affecting Agency Budgets via Mashable

“One of the big challenges is finding a way to sift through the mountain of data that is available and, to be honest, most brands do not have an internal capability yet to handle the influx of social data,” explains Chuck Hemann, WCG’s director of analytics… television ad spends have stayed reasonably consistent: “In my opinion this is because it’s connected to our other screens — smartphones and tablets. Plus TV content has new life online as well. It seems to have remained a relevant part of the mix for most clients.”

Apple TV Is Going To Be Software, Not Hardware via The Toad Stool by Alan Wolk

The typical MVPD on-screen experience is the polar opposite of “user friendly,” what with two thousand random channels displayed in a grid with the HD ones crammed somewhere in the middle. Add in On Demand and DVR menus that were apparently designed by the same people who created Brain Teasers. A notable absence of customization and personalization features. Topped off by search features that require you to scroll through a keypad using nothing but your remote control… right now, TV needs something that’s beautiful and intuitive. It’s also something Apple can completely control as it operated on (wait for it) a closed system.

The New TV Apps Will Be Social, And A Whole Lot More via Forbes

The moves that Apple is making are setting the stage for app-enabled television experiences to become dominant among consumers… the advertising-driven business models of the broadcast networks and the subscription + advertising models of the cable companies will exist side-by-side—and compete head-to-head—with new models… there are all manner of curation schemes—data-driven, crowd sourced or expert-guided—that will compete for attention.

AMC Joins Forces With Rock You to Launch The Walking Dead Social Game via AMC Blog

AMC and RockYou® today announced the launch of The Walking Dead Social Game,” a story-based Facebook game based on AMC’s TV series.

Mechanical shark will eat what ‘Shark Week’ viewers tweet via Lost Remote

On the second screen/co-viewing front, TVplus recently announced that Discovery has selected to use their PET platform to manage co-viewing experiences for both live and taped programming.

Connected TV. A meaningful consumer innovation or technology for technology’s sake? via Meaningful Brands

Although advertisers are now significantly increasing investment into mobile, with 157% growth in revenue in 2011, it was the perfect example of media technology moving ahead of consumer trend and subsequently advertiser appetite. This poisoned chalice could well be next for connected TV… Connected TV manufacturers had hoped to concentrate on the social experience on offer, with integrated social apps such as Facebook and live Twitter feeds streaming next to live TV content. But Connected TVs are not giant mobile phones or tablets.  If people want to engage with and talk about what they are watching, habits dictate that they are more likely to do so through a second screen device. So is there a future for Connected TVs? In my opinion, yes. The key however is to focus on benefits that really mean something to consumers.

Cartoon Network Puts Toons/Games Multitasking On One Mobile Screen via MediaPost

The 2.0 release of their on-demand TV app for iOS allows the viewer to play a simple video game at the bottom of the iPad screen as a cartoon episode plays on the top half… the Windows 8 tablets are supposed to support same screen multitasking that will allow some apps to be “snapped” onto certain quadrants of the display. This could become very interesting for tablet video viewing and social TV.

The Future of Marketing: Your Face? via Forbes

Microsoft Kinect, the popular motion-sensing gaming device, has advanced abilities to identify its users, and an entire advertising platform built around “audience engagement” – being able to tell who is in the room, how old they are and whether they are paying attention to what is on the screen.

2012 Olympic T-Commerce Medal Results: Bronze, Silver and Gold! Via Interactive TV Commerce

…how are first and second screen companion apps doing in terms of monetizing t-commerce

Verizon details social TV, voice recognition and next-gen guide in patent applications via FierceCable

In a patent application titled “Social Television,” Verizon describes how it could supply subscribers with tablet computers that could be used to navigate an interactive program guide, and interact with friends watching TV in other homes… no U.S. pay-TV distributor has marketed a tablet to subscribers for use in navigating digital cable programming… FiOS Companion is a state-of-the-art Android tablet designed to optimize your FiOS-TV viewing experience

How GetGlue aims to reinvent the TV program guide via Lost Remote

GetGlue works with 75 TV networks to run promotions via stickers and more…Now they’ll be taking over 500 million social TV data points to make TV discovery even easier… The new app is leveraging all your data, your friends’s data and 500M data points from entire community to power your personalized experience.

With Online Video, You Have 20 Seconds To Capture Your Viewer. Go. via Fast Company

With the barriers to creating high-quality content continually breaking down, the next five years will see an influx of companies taking advantage of consumers’ love for online video.

Internet-Enabled TV On The Rise via MediaPost

Nielsen says IPTV-enabled TV viewing is now 5% of those homes’ total TV viewing, as of February 2012. Four months before, it held a 2% share… Big-screen regular TV still commands virtually all viewing — a 94% share with U.S. viewers watching 35 hours of TV across all screens.

Networks Struggle to Appeal to Hispanics via NY Times

…the problem facing English-language television executives and advertisers: they desperately want to appeal to the more than 50 million Latinos in the United States (about three-quarters speak Spanish), especially those who are young, bilingual and bicultural, but those viewers seem to want very little to do with American English-language television.

Social TV: Shazam-ing the Olympics via On The Edge of Digital Culture

Through a deal Shazam signed with Olympics broadcaster NBC, U.S. viewers can use the Shazam app on their smartphone to access additional info such as extra content on athletes, updated info on event results, and medal count.

English football match to be broadcast simultaneously on Facebook and TV via TNW

Budweiser is about to stream the FA Cup match between non-league teams Langford and Wembley FC live on its Facebook page this Saturday (August 11). This will be the time an FA game can be broadcast dual screen, opening up the match for many more digital viewers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s