Social TV Week In Review: Social TV Review

Take a look at a few of the headlines this week: Cablevision experiments with ‘communal television viewing’; Nintendo and Xbox dabble with TV delivery and interactive content production; Samsung to award $300,000 in the first ‘Second Screen Storytellers initiative’; Shazam applies its audio content recognition technology to TV, etc, etc. Technology is rapidly transforming the media landscape and everyone (from cable operators, to information technology companies to gaming and mobile app developers) is vying for a position in a still undefined space.

Let’s not forget about the broadcast and cable networks themselves!

New research from Avid and Ovum upholds, “75% of media executives believe online, social and mobile platforms actually drive audiences to watch more television content”. Marc DeBevoise, SVP-general manager at CBS Interactive, Peter Naylor, NBC Universal’s exec VP-digital media sales, and Jesse Redniss, SVP of digital for the USA Network, are among the outspoken executives who would likely corroborate Avid and Ovums findings.

So where does that leave Social TV?

In the modern age of television, traditional measurement systems struggle to adapt to the changing environment, but Social TV is well positioned against the chaos. Social data measurement is inherently a cross platform measurement; social data is collected across all screens and devices – it applies to live, recorded, VOD and streamed media alike. The social conversation is happening 24/7 and therefore measurement never really stops. All of this makes social data well defended against fragmentation and invaluable as a real-time, 360-degree evaluation of how viewers are responding to the programs they watch and the networks behind them.

There are some who dismiss Social TV as a trend among younger demographics who aren’t as heavy TV consumers. Yet this younger audience is also tech savvy, influential, vocal and has purchasing power. These characteristics make them some of the strongest and most valuable brand advocates ad money can buy. More importantly they are getting older. Soon millennials will settle into the couch while a new crop of ‘digital natives’ or ‘plurals’ will make them look ancient. Denying the power of Social TV because a generation of TV viewers on their way out hasn’t caught on is as misguided as it is damaging. Social TV is in great position to scale along side an evolving media landscape.

For more news from around the web, keep reading!

GENERAL NEWS

Unmasking Social TV misconceptions via The Exchange

Broadcasters need to dedicate Social TV ownership internally. a producer with a mix of traditional broadcast and digital experience can build a knowledge base that will make delivering Social programming easier and more strategic.

Cablevision develops ‘virtual communal television viewing’ technology via Fierce Cable

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is developing social TV technology that could allow subscribers to talk to each other via voice or video chats while watching programming, according to a recent patent application…Cablevision may be able to use the communal viewing parties to drive increased ad revenue.

Win a $300,000 production budget to create an original short series via App Market

Samsung and the New York Television Festival are seeking original narrative television pilots with second screen extension material for the first ever Samsung Second Screen Storytellers initiative… Samsung’s unique technology enables storytellers to integrate multiple screens into their overall narrative, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience for fans and viewers.

Forget ‘The Force,’ Volkswagen Wants Your Stories Now via Mashable 

Volkswagen, whose most notable social media success to date came from “The Force” viral Super Bowl ad two years ago, is taking a new approach to cultivating fans with a campaign soliciting their stories on Facebook.

63pc of tablet owners use device while watching TV: study via Mobile Marketer

Television and mobile go hand-in-hand with both content consumption and advertising, according to new research from GfK MRI iPanel… “From a marketer’s perspective, these new findings speak to the fact that consumer conversations around brands and TV programs will increase as tablet ownership grows,” said Risa Becker, senior vice president of research at GfK MRI, New York.

Mass Relevance launches ‘Product Studio’ to streamline social TV visualizations via Lost Remote

This new platform reaffirms how invested they are in making it easier for TV networks to create visualizations on their own with a toolbox built for their needs. “The Product Studio is launching with more than 30 social products and visualizations, including an interactive photo wall fueled by real-time social content and polls that update based on social voting and behavior,”

SOCIAL TV PROS AND CONS

Why Social TV Still Can’t Promise a Good Ol’ TV Victory via AdAge

And that may be just the problem with so-called social TV. There’s a lot of “chatter” and “buzz,” and the like, but how much of this really relates to the hard, cold audience numbers upon which — for good or ill — the TV business is still based?…  CBS, according to Nielsen, the median viewer age is just over 55, and at ABC, the median is around 52. At NBC, it’s 49.3. At Fox, it’s 46.2. Their viewing may not be easy to predict by watching a subset of young people in social media…But the pool of people participating in social TV remains smaller, and younger, than the broader pool of viewers that advertisers and networks ultimately need.

 When Twitter Fans Steer TV via WSJ

Shows responding to Twitter so overtly remain in the minority. Producers say they pay close attention to comments to gauge audience response in real time, but when it comes to script and plot decisions, creative teams are cautious about giving fans outright control.

Study: In Growing Digital Media World, GRPs Still Important via MediaPost

While all those new media measures and metrics are needed in a new digital media world, gross ratings points — GRPs — will be around for a while. “Although deeper digital data sets can allow marketers to plan and buy smarter TV campaigns, the sheer scale of TV advertising spend and its ingrained processes and systems give GRPs the leverage they need to remain the core currency for TV and online video,” says a report written by Michael Glantz by Forrester Research… Forrester’s estimates are that TV advertising revenues were 76.6 billion in 2011, with digital video ad sales at $2.1 billion.

Wait, Who’s Actually Making Money Off Social TV? via Ad Age

Over the past year, as Nielsen has released research that correlates rising social buzz with increases in ratings, there’s been plenty of debate of the chicken-and-egg variety. But the London Olympics helped convert a lot of skeptics… “As we push stuff onto Twitter and Facebook — a clip or a photo or a comment made by talent from one of our shows — we can see that large portions of the traffic to our sites are being driven by leads generated that way,” said Marc DeBevoise, senior VP-general manager at CBS Interactive. “And, of course, more traffic to our sites drives more revenue.”… “It was a really bright, shining example of how social could fuel ratings,” said Peter Naylor, NBC Universal’s exec VP-digital media sales.

Twice as much TV? How networks are adapting to the second screen via CNN

Having that “second screen” — the common phrase for a mobile device used while watching a TV program — can make us feel like we’re being more productive, but it can also broaden our viewing experience…there’s the delicate balance between providing content that’s engaging and worthwhile to the viewer while not annoying them or pulling them out of the storyline…Networks are in the midst of experimenting, but a few refrains are starting to emerge: Know your audience, less really is more, and above all else, keep the content king.

Multiple Digital Platforms Boost TV Viewing via Mediapost

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/183108/multiple-digital-platforms-boost-tv-viewing.html

The survey also found that this confidence in the potential of digital platforms is also pushing a shift in the way broadcasters relate to their audiences and the investments they are making in their future, with multiple platform delivery, cloud solutions and the delivery of more personalized content becoming a high priority… 78% of the respondents said that within the next 10 years, most content will be customized based on the profile attributes of the individual viewers, and 85% of respondents felt that multiplatform distribution will be critical to capturing new growth opportunities.

How social TV buzz really does move the ratings needle via Lost Remote

In the end, we know that social TV buzz really does move the ratings needle, and by extension, it helps predict the success of a TV show. But we don’t know how much. It varies by show, by network, by circumstance. While it’s dangerous to assert that social media gets all the credit for a show’s success, it’s even more dangerous to claim that social media makes no mainstream ratings impact.

GAMING CONSOLES

Nintendo Wii U TVii integrates second screen via infromitv

The new Nintendo Wii U console will integrate with television and online video services when it launches in the United States. Nintendo TVii will feature access to Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video and can be used with a TiVo digital video recorder…Wii U has a browser, allowing users to display web pages on television to share with family or friends, or simply use the web on the second screen while watching television, in the middle of a game, or without using the television.

With Hollywood Hire, Microsoft Bolsters Entertainment Efforts via NYTimes

Microsoft has hired Nancy Tellem, a former top CBS television executive, to oversee the production of original video content to be delivered to the company’s Xbox video game console…Ms. Tellem will oversee a Microsoft production studio based in Los Angeles that will create both traditional “linear” programming and interactive programming that fuses video and gamelike content, they said… The move echoes an effort by Netflix to invest more heavily in original content to give its video-streaming service an edge on competitors.

Xbox Snags NBC Exec to Produce Original Programming, and There’s a Sea Change Coming for Television via Forbes

“The Xbox is already a consumer favorite, and we now have a tremendous opportunity to transform it into the center of all things entertainment — from games, music and fitness to news, sports, live events, television series and movies — so consumers have one destination for all their entertainment needs.”… Television is a mature industry driven by quality before anything else. Extant contracts and arrangements are tough to shake for companies with a vested interest in inefficiency. Original programming will have to step up its game to force that hand. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.

PROGRAMS & NETWORKS

Fall TV Goes Social: 6 NBC Shows to Watch via Mashable

Keeping pace with social TV trends on the web, NBC has expanded its social presence further than just Facebook and Twitter, putting the network’s footprint on Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram for each show.

THE CONNECTOR: MEET THE WOMAN BEHIND HBO’S SOCIAL SCENE via Co.Create

… social is not just a campaign extension but really, truly, it’s a 365-day a year job and having a team internally that really understood the brand voice and that could coordinate with all the teams across the organization through the whole life cycle of a program–not just through a premiere marketing play–could be a real value to us… Engaging the Entourage community year-round could not only drive traffic to HBO.com for activations and content, but could also be important in the DVD window and in the production window… we’re thinking a lot about Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and how those can all be more prominent in the next evolution of Connect.

New BBC chief vows to re-invent content, not just re-purpose it via paidContent

The BBC’s new director-general has vowed to merge TV, radio and online teams so that the corporation creates “genuinely digital content for the first time”… Entwhistle’s digital-native content is likely to be created for a richer and more multi-screen online environment than the last time the BBC followed such a strategy. So we may see a new era of inventiveness.

SPORTS

Touchdown for digital: Why the NFL’s online strategy makes for a winning game plan via Digital Trends

It may not be perfect, but, for today, the NFL has the best online streaming plan of US major sports…by creating world-class experiences for our fans, we know that we’re just creating more value overall for the NFL, and that’s an unequivocally good thing…NFL Game Rewind and the League’s 2014 TV contracts will ensure that the core experience of watching football online will only increase in quality.

Sports Fans Turn More To Web, Social Media via Mediapost

One-half — 49.8% — of all sports fans say the television is still their primary source for sports information, according to a recent survey of 950 U.S. online adults by Burst Media. Still, more than a quarter — 26.5% — now cite content Web sites as their main connection to sports.

SHAZAM

Shazam Makes Its Big TV Push, Says App Can Now Tag Any Show On Any Channel via Tech Crunch

Chief Revenue Officer Doug Garland says the company has created a comprehensive experience for TV, allowing users to tag any show on any channel. This functionality is actually live in the current version of the app — Shazam just waited a little while to announce it…it offers cast information, trivia, celebrity buzz, live Twitter feeds — and yes, it can also identify featured music…The company says users can now tag content from 160 U.S. channels, though the app won’t work for some local-only content.

After 250m app downloads, Shazam expands its social TV features via The Guardian

Mobile firm Shazam has hit its latest big milestone – 250m users of its mobile app – while expanding its social TV features in the US to allow all shows to be tagged, rather than just those whose networks or producers have a marketing deal with the company…It’s the latest sign of Shazam’s determination to become as big a player in the emerging social TV market as it is for music identification…The TV industry will be hoping the company can help producers and broadcasters boost their own digital revenue streams.

How Shazam Plans To Make Money On TV’s Second Screen via Read Write Web

Unlike many new-media initiatives, it might even have a viable business model ready to go…As it does with songs, Shazam unlocks all kinds of supplementary content and information about the show… Shazam’s shift into this space is yet another sign of social TV’s huge potential. And it’s not just a shoot-first, figure-out-a-biz-plan-later kind of strategy. There’s a real revenue opportunity right up front. Through a partnership with Delivery Agent, Shazam offers viewers the opportunity to buy merchandise related to a given show… Shazam takes consumers from watching a TV show to paying real money to buy things. For consumers, it cuts out several manual steps – making note of a product they see on TV, going to the appropriate website or store, recalling the item and pulling out a credit card to purchase it. For Shazam and its media partners, it offers a monetization scheme that other legacy media industries would kill for.

OTHER APPS

From Mobile to TV: The companion screens opportunity and the role of apps via VisionMobile 

Given the magnitude of the TV advertising market, TV apps will become increasingly important as they gain market penetration and sophistication.  Andrew Burke, former CEO of IPTV solutions provider Amino Technologies and former CEO of BT Entertainment, said that growth of the TV apps market could create a shift in the traditional TV advertising industry… Burke noted that the opportunity to monetize additional screens through advertising is the reason that BSkyB invested in the social TV platform provider, Zeebox, earlier this year.

Jinni aims to be the Pandora of TV with mood discovery via Lost Remote

Jinni “is a mood-based discovery engine that is accomplishing for TV and film what Pandora achieved for music – providing content recommendations based on tastes and interests and incorporating social features.”

British firm Zeebox to introduce its ‘augmented TV’ app in U.S. via Los Angeles Times

Zeebox’s free Apple iPad application, expected to be launched soon in the U.S., brings together online conversations about individual shows, delivers information relevant to the episode the viewer is watching on TV, and provides an opportunity to buy products advertised during commercials (or depicted within the program)… One e-commerce element in the Zeebox application allows consumers to use their mobile device to buy products seen in commercials, or even brands that appear on the screen.

INTERNATIONAL

CBC’s ‘Over the Rainbow’ allows audience to control on-air graphic via Lost Remote

The app is “allowing the audience to control a live on-air graphic in the show” via the app and “in a world first for Social TV the graphic will be updated live in every time zone,” according to the network.

Smart TVs to dominate Romanian market over the next five years via Romania insider

In the next five years, electronics retailer Flanco estimates that “social” TVs will be the main type of TVs purchased by Romanians. Romanians spend on average over four hours a day watching TV, but at the same time, they are social networks enthusiasts, averaging over four hours surfing the internet, according to the company.

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2 Comments on “Social TV Week In Review: Social TV Review”

  1. […] Take a look at a few of the headlines this week: Cablevision experiments with ‘communal television viewing’; Nintendo and Xbox dabble with TV delivery and interactive content production; Samsung to…  […]

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