Social TV Week In Review: The News ( + Voices of Dissent)

This week’s must read news items:

  1. Somrat Niyogi, founder of Miso, critiques the nascent social TV industry’s focus claiming, “We make it about the people in business, not a business for people” . Deriding the  overextended focus of companion viewing services, he suggests companies concentrate on one value proposition and deliver it well.
  2. Chuck Parker, Chairman at Second Screen Society, offers a direct rebuttal. Parker turns to Apple as a prime example of how a company takes many diverse services (inherent in smart-phones) and condenses them into a singular, intuitive product.
  3. Jeff Schroer, co-founder of iBubblr, weighs in: “Strong content and the first-screen experience are still king. What consumers want are better ways to enjoy what they love. It really is that simple.”
  4. John Funge, cofounder and CEO of BrightContext talks about the “modern problem of “’real-time big data’”. He too calls for more differentiation and ‘ambition’ from second screen players.
  5. MarketsandMarkets projects social TV growth from $151.14 billion this year, to $256.44 billion by 2017.
  6. Nicholas Barr takes apart that projection line by line. 

There’s much more happening in the news this week. As always, keep reading for all the latest stories!


Marketing’s Next Five Years: How to Get From Here to There via Advertising Age

In measured-media terms, in 2016, the furthest year forecast by eMarketer, TV will still own the biggest piece of the marketing pie (36%), but just barely. Online advertising, at 31%, is sure to be hot on its heels. Further behind but growing fast will be mobile, whose share will have jumped from about 1% today to 5% as marketers chase a wholly mobile consumer reveling in constantly improving gadgets and services… The rise of mobile, coupled with an evolving, more web-like TV market will present a vastly different communications landscape.

Broadcast industry failing to cash in on second screen via Rapid TV News

Even though a very significant majority of UK TV viewers have tried dual screen technologies, broadcasters are failing to cash in on this new channel according to new research from Red Bee Media… more than half of respondents (52%) used a second screen to find out more about a TV programme and, showing the growing role that social media plays a role in helping viewers to decide when to watch a programme, a third of smart device owners admitted that they are more likely to watch a show live rather than on-demand if there is significant social buzz around that programme.

Social video preps for primetime via Variety

“Very” is at the leading edge of a growing mix of content and promotion that capitalize on social-video platforms. They enable multiple viewers to share screen time with a host they interact with in real time from their own home — or out and about via wireless devices…”The idea of interactive experiences around traditional media content is something I think is going to be a core part of media five years from now,” predicted Jeff Fluhr, CEO of Spreecast…And even though content companies have periodically experimented with these platforms over the years, social video may only finally be poised for breakthrough now because of other trends that weren’t in place five years ago: the phenomenal growth of social media like Facebook and Twitter and usage of webcams that suffered from pixilation, latency and other bugs related to less-than-pervasive broadband and wireless deployment.

NBC News Kills The Demographic, Personifies Its Viewers Instead via MediaPost

NBC News Digital this week will begin pitching a new audience targeting scheme based not on the classic age, sex and income descriptors that have been used as the currency of Madison Avenue for the past half century, but on the behaviors and “personas” of news consumers…The push away from demographics is not a new phenomenon in the media industry, or on Madison Avenue. Almost since they were first created in the 1960s, demographics have been cast as an archaic — and to some extent, not-so-representative — way of clustering audiences for advertisers and programmers alike.

Jack Dorsey and Twitter: Can you have a part-time product visionary? via GigaOM

Twitter now has product leads in charge of consumer features, advertising and international, but it doesn’t have anyone driving the broader vision related to the service except for Costolo — who doesn’t have a product background — and Dorsey in what appears to be a part-time role. Some see that as a bad thing for a startup that is trying to balance the conflicting needs of users and advertisers, something that sources close to Twitter say is causing dissent even within the company.

Making the Second Screen a Natural for TV Viewers — and Storytellers via Ad Age

Second-screen allows storytellers to parse out pieces of the story that normally wouldn’t make it onto the show…Five years from now we will look back and the second-screen technology that is currently in place will look crudely rudimentary. In the next one to two years there will be lots of experimentation and in five years we will have a solid grasp on what’s working, the same way we now know how to use social media that we didn’t when Facebook first started.

Showdown on the second screen via GigaOM

Most of that chatter still occurs on the same social networks we use for everything else, like Twitter and Facebook. But a growing percentage now happens via specialized social TV apps, like GetGlue, Shazam and ConnecTV, which combine chat with supplemental material, program guides and other content, and which can sync their content with the particular show being watched using audio recognition technology.

The Future of Social TV is a Multi Screen Experience via Brian Solis

Connected viewers are not only driving the rise of Social TV, their activities are opening new windows for real-time multi-screen experiences that require design…each screen requires careful consideration and design to create a connected experience not just during the program, but also in between episodes.

Goodbye Couch Potato, Hello Second Screen Surfer via Real Player

Although we have had more control over when we watch TV with the introduction of the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and plenty of shows now available to view online, social media and mobile technology are changing the way we watch shows. Interaction with our favorite shows or with what we see on television is making the passive couch potato a thing of the past.


Breaking Through via Alan Wolk

Social chatter, regardless of the platform, is of little use to anyone. The real value is in the data that MVPDs will be able to collect from users who will have individual second screen accounts. That allows for a scenario where the entire family is watching the same show on the big screen while having individual experiences – uniquely tailored content and advertising – on the second screen. The data around who is watching what (and when) will provide better experiences for everyone from broadcasters to advertisers to viewers. It’s just a matter of who is going to take the lead in implementing a system that allows for those experiences.

Twitter Dominates Live TV Because Social TV Is Failing via TechCrunch

So here is the undeniable fact: Twitter currently dominates live TV because it enables these “come-in come-out” experiences that are light, delightful and informative. But ultimately, Twitter is also dominating because of the mistakes we are making in the social TV industry…It’s true that people are also on their laptops, smartphones or tablets while watching TV. But people are checking email, on Facebook, and doing other things. The other major problem is that second screen apps fail to answer the ultimate question: Why should a user open up YOUR app versus the other billion apps out there around TV?… As an industry, we’re trying to capitalize on a business proposition, not a consumer proposition.

Is Social TV failing? Is that the right question? via Thoughts on the Digital Video Space

But the real question here isn’t the complexity of use cases, it is the simplicity of experience delivery. Keep in mind that your Smartphone has hundreds of use cases and until the iPhone came along, the industry suffered from this problem for years. Long before Somrat’s argument, there were those who argued the device need to either be a GPS (TomTom), a phone (Nokia), a portable music player (Creative, Zune) or an email device (Blackberry). Apple finally built a UX that enabled you to easily manage those complex use cases in one device–and birthed the Smartphone market (or at least bore the first legitimate child).

Where Social TV Is Going Wrong — and How to Get It Right via Ad Age

It’s easy to see why social-media activity around TV is soaring. Shared experiences make our lives more meaningful. Consumers are always looking for simpler, richer, more meaningful ways to have these shared experiences, especially when it comes to TV, the most ubiquitous content distributor in history. And tablets and other connected devices are rapidly giving more consumers new ways to interact.

What real social TV will look like via Venture Beat

For all the legitimate buzz about social TV, one mystery remains: why hasn’t it come about? Why are most social TV experiences basically Twitter feeds? The answer has to do with a modern problem of “real-time big data”—which is to say, instantly consuming, routing, processing and broadcasting large volumes of data…as social TV becomes more integral to the business of television, social networks may represent more of a competitor than partner. The stakes are high as the market sorts out who will own these new direct relationships with the audience. Already, Twitter and Facebook have better insight into TV audiences than the programmers and distributors themselves. To unlock social TV’s full potential and preserve independence, app developers will need a new way to handle the torrential load of real-time data.

Turning social media into cash: 6 insights from the new tech titans via paidContent

What do LinkedIn, Twitter, Buzzfeed and Tumblr all have in common?  These companies all embed sponsors in their content stream rather than laying ads on top it. This provides a less disruptive user experience and better engagement for advertisers…Murphy’s perspective is a welcome counter-point to the notion that a social media audience is an end in itself. He says that brands are skeptical of hype about engagement and would prefer to hear how a given platform will help them close a sale.

Smart & Social the future of TV via A Guide to Software Sourcing

…isn’t keeping users engaged with the TV screen what the advertisers are paying broadcasters for, isn’t anticipated viewership what productions houses sell their wares for? So why is every one hell bent on disrupting that very experience that the money bods hold sacred?… Convergence is not just a buzz word people it has a definition  and by definition it means platform agnostic content and experience not distracting apps for apps sake. Take most second screen Apps.. why are they so busy and why do they work so hard to disrupt my experience of the 1st screen!… TV is already social people – what the industry thought leaders ought to be looking for is extending that sacred experience and not disrupting it!

Does Social Media Just Connect Those TV Viewers Not Content To Lean Back? via Media Post

Some associations between social media and TV are fleeting — or worse. They could exist just to solve “business” problems while not attending to real consumer needs.  Do we really need frequent flyer/incentive points for watching or talking about TV shows?…Overall, people are inherently lazy when it comes to TV. The lean-back entertainment activity is the easiest platform. And yet, apparently, not easy enough.

Must-Tweet TV: How The Pioneers Of Social Television Turn Viewers Into VIPs via Fast Company

It’s traditionally believed that word-of-mouth is the most influential form of marketing. Accordingly, TV viewers and consumers have an interest and trust in each other’s opinions. Consensus matters because it saves time and provides clarity. In the same way we look for book or music recommendations from friends, we can now turn to social media to hear about the next big thing or track what the majority considers the highest quality or best value or greatest experience…This strategy also proves valuable to advertisers who can make more informed decisions about when, where, and how they want to advertise on TV.

Report: Social TV Market To Be Worth $256.44BN By 2017; Europe Taking Largest Share Now via TechCrunch

“The future for the television is social through integration of social interaction on the television. Broadcasters are developing and enriching social TV integration; they are targeting the tune-in customer, engagement and their loyalty to boost the rating and they are also discovering the social TV challenge,” the report notes.

Global Social TV Market Worth $256.44 Billion by 2017 via Rock Hill Herald Online

According to a new market research report, “Social TV Market: Global Advancements Forecasts & Analysis (2012 – 2017)”, published by MarketsandMarkets (, the total Social TV market is expected to reach $256.44 billion by 2017 with a CAGR of 11.2%…Europe commanded the largest share of the Social TV market revenue in 2012 at $55.48 billion; and is expected to reach $77.74 billion by 2017, at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2012 to 2017.

Is the Social TV market really worth $151.14 billion? via The Second Scream

Earlier this year, analysts at IDATE claimed that the estimated value of the TV and video market was $294bn in 2011 possibly rising to $435bn by 2020. So, how could MarketsandMarkets possibly reach the conclusion that the nascent Social TV market is already worth more than half the value of the entire TV industry?


What Difference Does Cable Make? via eMarketer

In August, consultants Altman Vilandrie found that US subscribers and nonsubscribers to cable TV were almost equally likely to use online video subscription services, at 49% and 48%, respectively. There was little difference in the selection of services they used, with Netflix coming out strongly on top for both groups.

How Tablets Affect TV Viewing via eMarketer

Altman Vilandrie found that younger tablet owners were most likely to use the devices to watch TV, with more than half of owners under 35 doing so at least weekly, vs. 19% of those 55 and older. In combination with The Diffusion Group’s research, this suggests that, if anything, traditional TV time may increase hand in hand with tablet usage and tablet TV viewing…

Second Screen: What’s the Trend in your Living Room? via SeeVibes

Computer, smartphone or tablet – which device is most popular for social TV? Seevibes studied the evolution of the devices used for social TV between December 2011 and June 2012. Tablets saw the biggest increase with their use nearly doubling over the six months. The second screen is now clearly dominated by mobile devices at the expense of the computer/browser, used by only 38% of social TV participants.

A third of smartphone owners tune in to live TV for social buzz via Econsultancy

This is because a new Red Bee Media survey of 2,000 smartphone owners found that one in three respondents said that they are more likely to watch a show live rather than on-demand if there is significant social buzz around that programme…Data included in our recent report, The Multi-Screen Marketer, shows that different types of programmes drive different online behaviours.

Social TV and the “Second Screen” Phenomenon via Lyris

Viewer engagement levels while watching with a friend or connecting with a friend over social media were 1.3 times higher than for people watching alone and not using social media.

Study: Insights on the Twitter audience via The Second Scream

Twitter has a young audience. It would seem that less than 6% of users are aged 46+. In fact, perhaps only around a quarter of them are over 25*… Most twitter users (81.1%) have less than 50 followers and a similar proportion follow less that 50 accounts themselves. More than half have very little influence scoring less than three on a scale of one to 10.

1 in 10 debate watchers were ‘dual-screeners,’ Pew says via NBCnews

The finding is from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which said Thursday that younger Americans, those 40 and under, were most likely to be “dual-screeners.”

Americans move to ‘dual screens’ to watch debates via Appy Geek

Most watched on television, but 11 percent of these viewers were “dual screeners,” the survey found. Another three percent say they followed the debate live exclusively online. Only about five percent of the overall debate watchers said they shared their own reactions to the debate online.


An inside look at A&E’s social TV strategy for ‘Duck Dynasty’ via Lost Remote

A&E has become the latest network to leverage a Google+ Hangout with the entire cast. Select fans were chosen to “hang out” with the cast…The biggest reason Twitter has the most of the social-TV market among consumers is that it’s the easiest way to have meaningful shared experiences around TV…While the market continues to flood with game-like social-TV products, however, real innovations that improve the consumer experience can go unnoticed. The ability to filter “People I Know” from Twitter’s hashtag chaos, for example, greatly improved the co-viewing experience.

ESPN’s ‘Social Highlights’ Mash Ups Show Big Moments From Fans’ Lens [VIDEO] via Mashable

But, in the age of social media permeation and mobile video proliferation, this is no longer enough, according to UNITE, a new late-night show that airs on ESPNU. The social media-heavy show has introduced a regular installment called “social highlights,” which leverage just how much video modern fans shoot on their smartphones while at the game.

How CNN and SnappyTV created social TV producers for the debates via Lost Remote

In our preview of the first election we wrote about CNN allowing viewers to become live TV producers by giving viewers the opportunity to clip and share their favorite moments in real-time. SnappyTV is the social TV technology platform that has made this possible for both the first presidential debate and tonight’s veep debate.

An inside look at Epitome Pictures’ social TV strategy for ‘Degrassi’ via Lost Remote

We use Google+ for great hangouts with cast members, our Tumblr page to post photos and to join the community in creating gifs, memes and highlighting special moments from the series! We like to give the users a diverse social experience where they can connect with the brand in any social network and different types of content- fictional through storytelling and behind the scenes content too. Our cast is really great with social media, and many of them have verified twitter accounts, whosay pages, and official facebook fan pages. They’re very engaged and open to connecting with their fans and starting a dialogue.

TBS launches its Social Dugout app in time for the MLB playoffs and rewards you for watching via TNW

Cable network TBS thought about this and it’s launching a new app called TBS Social Dugout to enable fans to compete and win prizes as they cheer on their favorite team in the postseason…Other features with TBS Social Dugout includes it being, well, social. That means that you can share your comments, insights, and even your photos with the rest of the community as the game is happening.

Shazam and the MLB partner to deliver box scores, stats and more during postseason games via TNW

The company has announced that it is partnering with MLB Advanced Media to deliver box scores,  stats, highlights and more when people use the app during a Postseason game this fall…Sure, some of it is an ad for the MLB, but this is far more useful than those silly ‘use Shazam during an ad to get more ads’ deals they’ve been doing.


Mercedes-Benz and AMV launch #YOUDRIVE campaign via The Drum

Mercedes-Benz and their advertising agency AMV are planning an ambitious advertising event during this weekend’s broadcasts of The X Factor with viewers being invited to use Twitter to decide how a story should develop as it is shown across three commercial breaks on Saturday and Sunday.

Slim Jim Gives Snackers Something to Play For via NY Times

Among the young men to whom Slim Jim primarily is pitched, 71 percent either own or play video games… In the promotion between Slim Jim and Electronic Arts, which runs through April 2013, codes printed on snack wrappers can be redeemed for bonus content on one of three coming Electronic Arts game


TVSync’s Open Platform Weds Social TV & E-Commerce via ReadWriteWeb

The month-old TVSync will mesh content, e-commerce and social networks across four screens – desktop, tablet, smartphone, smartTV – all in real time. TVSync could provide instant polling on reality shows and news events and embed live social-media activity in the show feed, or even into the storyline. TVSync does all this through a white-label content-identification system that processes more than 2 million videos and 8,000 hours of audiovisual content per day, according to Yangbin Wang, CEO of Vobile…Marketers have been clamoring for TV-driven e-commerce since the early days of the Internet. Could TVSync make it happen?

Coincident.TV Is “CREATE”-ing Second Screen Transmedia Producers Out of Everyone [Beta Invites] via Techzulu

Coincident has created a platform that will allow storytellers and producers to create robust second screen stories on the fly that incorporate video, images and other web content. The implications of what types of new interactive experiences can be made utilizing this technology are phenomenal… Imagine watching your favorite television show along with your iPad and having time-synced engagement that draws you deeper into the plotline through touch-activated hotspots, storyline added bonus features, retail opportunities, games, promotions and outbound links to other relevant content. Cool, right?

The Power of ThinkAnalytics Recommendations Engine and Intelligent Navigation Now Comes to Microsoft® Mediaroom® Customers via ThinkAnalytics

ThinkAnalytics™, the company behind the world’s most widely deployed multiplatform TV Recommendations Engine, today announced that it has joined the Microsoft® Mediaroom® IPTV partner program. The ThinkAnalytics Recommendations Engine will enable Mediaroom customers to deliver robust recommendations and Intelligent Navigation across IPTV services to subscribers worldwide.


YouTube’s original channels go global via YouTube Blog

Given the success of these and the tens of millions of other amazing channels already out there, we still know there’s more great content to find, follow and fall in love with on YouTube. That’s why today, we’re excited to launch a new generation of original channels coming from France, Germany, the UK and the US.

YouTube to Serve Niche Tastes by Adding Channels via NY Times

Other online video platforms — including, Netflix and Hulu — are also trying to compete for viewers by creating original content… “There’s a giant pot of money that is controlled by the broadcast and cable television industries, and it’s because there’s comfort and scale and predictability,” said David Grant, president of PopSugar Studios and a former president of Fox TV Studios. “There’s a fair amount of ways to go — years — before the online video industry has enough scale to move those dollars over. But it is inevitable.”

YouTube brings original channels to France, Germany and the UK via TNW

According to Google, the top 25 channels average over a million views per week, and 800 million viewers watch a total of 4 billion hours of per month.

BBC, European media bring original content to YouTube via CBC News

Ben McOwen Wilson, who manages YouTube’s northern European partnerships… said the goal was to let content producers come up with something they couldn’t deliver on TV.

YouTube Channel Spawns New TV Show: Recipe Rehab via Mashable

Everyday Health’s online video series Recipe Rehab has transformed into a Saturday morning televised competition show on ABC. It’s the first series from a YouTube original channel to make it to broadcast TV.

Bigger than Television via MobileMarketing

YouTube head of content Robert Kyncl told an audience, smartphone in hand: “This is the first screen. So when you talk about second screen, you are talking about the television.

TV is now the “second screen”, says YouTube boss via RadioTimes

The boss of the Google-owned company, which this week launched 60 new online channels containing content from BBC Worldwide, All3Media and ITN among others, revealed his beliefs about the future of home entertainment at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit…Kyncl warned TV producers of the changes ahead for the industry, saying: “Audiences are changing – if you want to keep up you have to programme on YouTube.”

Living in a post first screen/second screen world via MediaTel

Starcom MediaVest’s head of thought leadership, Steve Smith, argues we are now living in a ‘post first screen/second screen’ world… Kyncl argued that people would discover content on their mobiles and then swipe that content to the television, making the television the ‘second screen’. This is semantics. Instead, how will people actually perceive their television screens? In actual fact, people ‘swiping’ content to ‘dumb’ televisions isn’t anything new. People do very similar things when they watch DVDs, stream video from their games devices or use boxes such as YouView or Apple TV… The frequency of people discovering content on their mobiles will increase and with YouTube providing more long form content, people will want to view that content on their televisions and then use their mobiles for a variety of activities, from accessing complementary content and communicating about it, through to enquiry, exploration, online shopping and communicating about unrelated things.


France Telecom’s Viaccess hooks up second screen via Broadcast Engineering

France Telecom’s Viaccess-Orca launched a service package for second screen integration and engagement with a focus on enhanced metadata at IBC2012.Called DEEP (Data Enrichment and Engagement Platform), the package enables pay TV operators to link PCs, tablets, smart phones, games consoles and other IP devices in the home more tightly to the service, and stimulate further activity around the content.

Social TV’s Global Expansion via Arktan

Since its beginning few years ago, Social TV has been a predominantly American phenomenon. The first second-screen social experiences were built by American TV networks for American viewers. This is starting to change. It’s exciting to witness Social TV starting to take root in other global markets as well. Those markets are now going through the same early phases of Social TV adoption experienced by the U.S. Social TV industry pioneers.


One Comment on “Social TV Week In Review: The News ( + Voices of Dissent)”

  1. […] This week’s must read news items: Somrat Niyogi, founder of Miso, critiques the nascent social TV industry’s focus claiming, “We make it about the people in business, not a busine…  […]

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