Social TV News: Internet Ad Revenue Surpasses TV: Viacom to Offer Social Media Guarantees: Twitter’s TV Impact Under Fire

A new industry survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that internet ad revenues have overtaken TV for the first time ever in 2013. Although the study marks a truly historic occasion, president and CEO of the IAB, Randall Rothenberg, asserts, “The news that interactive has outperformed broadcast television should come as no surprise. It speaks to the power that digital screens have in reaching and engaging audiences.”

It should be equally unsurprising then, that mobile is playing a huge role in the revenue story. The report details the fact that revenue from mobile has grown more than any other ad format, to 19% in 4Q13 from 11% in 4Q12. Rothenburrg continues, “the triple-digit growth of mobile is clearly a direct response to how smaller digital screens play an integral role in consumers’ lives throughout the day, as well as their critical importance to cross-screen experiences.”

Tellingly, there is no mention of social media within the entire 28-page report. The ROI on social has been, and continues to be, notoriously hard to pin down, but there are signs of change on this front as well.

Through a new measurement platform known as Echograph, Viacom and Mass Relevance are teaming up to “guarantee certain levels of social reach and targeting for client campaigns”. In a press release that was light on specifics, Jeff Lucas, Head of Sales, Music and Entertainment at Viacom Media Networks claims, “We’ve cracked the code on how to connect advertisers to the enormous social activity around our networks but, until now, the missing piece was comprehensive measurement”.

Measurement is that first step towards monetization.

And not just for the TV networks. Measurement has  played a critical role for Twitter in developing its own monetization strategy. Speaking at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Mike Park, senior manager of Twitter Amplify, referenced Twitter’s 241 million active users (66% of whom purportedly tweet while watching TV) as a huge potential for advertisers.

Across the pond, UK MD of Twitter, Bruce Daisley, mulled over new research from Twitter and Thinkbox, “The increasing evidence we’re seeing is that there is a symbiotic effect. So when tweets go up, viewing [of the related TV show] goes up… and when the viewing of a show goes up we see evidence of tweets going up as well.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Twitter’s chief media scientist, Deb Roy, was touting the party line at the MIPTV television industry conference in Cannes. “No matter how you slice it, the complementary activity of having Twitter active with television seems to be leading to positive outcomes from the advertiser point of view” said Roy.

A recent study conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation in partnership with Twitter and Fox was filled with stats in support of such statements, among them: “90 percent of Twitter users who see a TV show-related tweet are likely to immediately watch the show, search for more information, or share tweet-based content about that show” and “54 percent of Twitter users who recall seeing brand-related tweets during a TV show have taken action (tweeting about, searching for or considering the brand)”.

But another new study, sponsored by the Council for Research Excellence and conducted by Nielsen with help from the Keller Fay Group, seemed to cast some doubts about Twitter’s ambitious assertions. The study found that TV promos are still the number one driver behind viewers’ decisions to watch new shows, accounting for 40% of decisions to view newly premiering shows, vs. 7% for social media. This news prompted Mashable to run an article under the headline “The Social TV Revolution Isn’t Here Yet” while The New York Times wrote: “The research findings contradict the notion — peddled heavily by Twitter and Facebook in their pitches to producers — that conversations on Twitter and Facebook are a big factor driving people to tune into TV shows”. From there it was easy for the rest of the naysayers to pile on.

In reality, the CRE study is just one more in a growing pile of studies (including a very recent one from Deloitte) and its findings on simultaneous TV and social media usage are hardly a radical departure from the findings in the past. The more important story is the mounting evidence that Facebook, not Twitter, is the biggest player in the Social TV space.

The CRE study revealed that 11.4 percent of people use Facebook while watching TV, versus just 3.3 percent of people use Twitter. Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, this fact was not highlighted in the Key Findings of the report (both Twitter and Facebook are members of the CRE). Although Facebook has been eager for a piece of the Social TV pie, Twitter is doing everything in its power to shut the rival social network out (Twitter bought Trendrr and SecondSync shortly after these social TV analytics companies announced partnerships with Facebook).

As Twitter dukes it out with Facebook over Social TV dollars, they may also have to start worrying about Google. That advertising dollars are increasingly shifting from TV to Internet, is certainly not lost on the search giant. In a new study,  The Role of Digital in TV Research, Fanship and Viewing, Google claims 90 percent of TV viewers visit YouTube and Google Search and two-thirds of viewers of new television shows search online before tuning in. The insights released by the company make a strong case for why Search and YouTube should be a prerequisite part of TV spending.

Keep reading for more social TV stories from around the web.
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Social TV Week In Review: December 2

GENERAL NEWS

Social TV Is Getting Down to Business via Ad Age

“No one wants to see a pop-up in the middle of their program they love saying ‘Buy this!'” he said. “The primary screen is not the way to drive the commerce.” Second-screen marketing represents “a way to augment the experience without impacting the experience.” American Express is dabbling in the space to see if it can associate itself with consumers making purchases based on what they see in their favorite TV programs, having signed deals in the last few weeks with both News Corp.’s Fox and Comcast’s NBC Universal…Advertisers “are looking for more interaction” when they do deals that tie them to specific programs, said Jean Rossi, president of News Corp.

American Express Interactive Channel Is Set to Reach 50 Million Homes via New York Times

American Express is taking another step toward the new world of television that is always on, making a deal with BrightLine for a yearlong campaign centered on an interactive branded channel…The branded channel is providing viewers content that includes video clips, offers, games and information about American Express cards and promotions like Small Business Saturday…American Express is among a growing number of giant marketers exploring the ins and outs of interactive television, which appeals to them because ads can be directed at an audience and the results — or lack thereof — measured.

Why the ‘Live Web’ is the new TV via Venture Beat

Is the Live Web bigger than TV?  Absolutely.  First off, the continued progression of TV Everywhere, whereby authenticated subscribers to cable or satellite services have access to their cable video content on most connected devices, is going to result in TV becoming a virtual subset of the Live Web.  This will happen within the next two years…Understanding the Live Web would allows publishers to create digital prime time for their content, create an outlet for content that can’t find a place in their traditional programming wheel, and create a direct and recurring connection with their users instead of leaving the discovery of their content to search.

Somebody Needs To Tell Notre Dame That There’s No ROI On Twitter! via Barry Cunningham

And then it popped up. Right there on Twitter, for all of us wannabe leprechaun’s to see. Someone, maybe Notre Dame, maybe a vendor, but someone with their wits about them somehow owned the top of Twitter and featured Notre Dame gear…While Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musberger were readying their post-game analysis, somebody was already on it preparing to take millions of dollars of orders. That is the power of #socialtv. That is the power of real-time marketing. That is realizing a serious ROI on Twitter…People are spending tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on commercials and completely missing the boat on how a simple social media campaign executed in real-time can reap some serious benefits. Both in actual cash and affinity.

Introducing My Revolutionary Social-Media Startup, SocialSocializing via Ad Age [SATIRE]

Well, my killer team and I are hard at work tweaking the interface, and we don’t want to reveal too much quite yet, but basically SocialSocializing, as we’ve named our product, will re-revolutionize the social-media revolution in a revolutionary new fashion that re-engages consumer engagement engagingly. And we’re dong it by getting back to basics.

My next big thing via Fabrizio Capobianco

The iPad mini is the perfect companion to your TV. It is the remote control of the future. At $329, Apple is going to sell a boatloads of them this Christmas…88% of iPad owners use it in front of the TV. People in the US spend almost five hours a day watching TV (ouch 😉 It is still our favorite pastime, by far. All of a sudden, it is possible to talk with your friends, who are watching TV at the same time. It is called Social TV. Read the rest of this entry »


Social TV Week In Review: Novemember 18

GENERAL NEWS

The Battle For Data From Social TV via Marketing Land

Tens of millions of Americans were still glued to their TV screens (not to mention the countless other millions around the globe); but, at the same time, many millions were furiously tweeting and picking up news from the social platform. And whilst this is great news for Twitter, it highlights growing issues for traditional broadcasters and brands.

‘Social Television’ will become the norm via Cream

Networks that understand the value of real-time interaction are using the social graph to gauge effectiveness of their marketing dollars and understand audience behavior and interests…TV personalities are leveraging social to generate compelling user generated content…Advertisers have also leveraged commercials to drive viewers to their social presence for awareness and promotional activities – often to publish user-generated content or participate in social experiences…To maintain high levels of engagement when primetime television seasons conclude, networks are developing new ways to retain fan relationships through extensions of television.

Social TV has big future, says TV3 via Rapid TV News

In an interview with Rapid TV News Spain, Alex Marquina Doménec, commercial director of New Business and Digital Media at TV3, said he believes that Social TV will cause a change in media consumption habits…The world of television is in the process of transformation, as happened a few years ago with the music industry and the press, but the main difference is the volume of business in the world TV advertising market, close to a 40% share of global investment.

Over the top: the new war for TV is just beginning via The Verge

How is it that you can get a dazzling new smartphone every year with an ever-growing list of features, a better display, and faster networking, but the experience of watching television in your living room remains almost exactly the same as it was five years ago? Why are TV and cable box interfaces so slow and ugly, and why are we still dealing with gigantic ugly cable box remotes festooned with colored buttons? The answer is simple: the only killer app for TV is TV itself. Granted an almost exclusive monopoly over the most valuable content in the living room, cable and satellite companies have developed their products in a competitive vacuum, insulated from the pace and intensity of innovation that has transformed every other part of the tech industry. Smartphones and tablets might have evolved into the apex predators of the technology jungle, but the cable DVR is the mutant fish at the bottom of the ocean that breathes sulfur instead of oxygen. Read the rest of this entry »


Social TV Week In Review: November 11

GENERAL NEWS

Simon Staffans: The audience is your channel via MIP Blog

Are you looking for an audience for your content? Or are you perhaps looking to expand the audience of your TV channel? Or are you trying to reach a new demographic, a new audience? You are more than welcome to try achieving those things in the traditional ways, but one thing you have to take into account is a whole new channel that has opened up for everyone – the audience itself…The art lies in creating not only for the people you want to reach, but the people you want them to reach. Namely catering for “friends of friends”, in social media parlance. This is where transmedia storytelling principles can come effectively into play.

Building your brand with content marketing via The Gaurdian

Marketers traditionally think of media strategy in terms of three distinct channels: paid, owned, and earned media. But the lines between these are becoming less defined as earned media becomes increasingly important: that is, media that can’t be bought or controlled by a company itself, generated independently by consumers and third parties – anything from social media to word-of-mouth. And the value of earned media will continue to rise with consumers increasingly looking to non-traditional media outlets for content, seeking out what they’re interested in, rather than passively receiving whatever comes their way from media companies… Coupled with the power of social media, marketers can use video to more closely integrate their strategies for paid, owned and earned media to increase impact and ROI

The Problem With Measuring Digital Influence via TechCrunch

One of the reasons that brands don’t understand digital influence is because they don’t seem to realize that no one actually has any measured “data” on influence (i.e. explicit data that says precisely who actually influenced who, when, where, how, etc.). All influence scores are computed from users’ social activity data based on some models and algorithms of how influence works. However, anyone can create these models and algorithms. So who is right? How can we be sure your influence score is correct? In other words, how can we validate the models that vendors use to predict people’s influence?

vrm: social tv? forget the 2nd screen apps, it’s all about generic data via MetaBroadcast

I just checked on my Twitter and Facebook friends in Zeebox. 3% of the 772 people I follow on Twitter and 6% of my 170 Facebook friends are using the app. Of these, 100% are either working in media, or closely connected to the Zeebox team. More than 80% have previously, or are currently working on 2nd screen projects for a broadcaster. In short, this is still a very niche audience…The reality is that most of this involvement is just unconnected browsing and people communicating about their lives in general, which may or may not be connected to the flickering box in the corner…Twitter is sometimes perceived as a niche medium, but we’re now seeing increased uptake, especially among a younger audience. The realtime nature of Twitter is a major plus for broadcast, which is still a predominantly live experience…”Friction free” logging of TV activity has not taken off as in the music industry, but Facebook contains a rich set of likes and posts around TV shows. We find that most users have between 200 and 2,000 TV likes in their social graph.

The Future of Social TV Metrics via Social Times

The industry is leaning toward having a gross engagement point next to a gross ratings point. But whether this will be a simple number that’s easily digestible or a deeper analysis remains to be seen. In the Q&A portion of the panel, Silverman said some useful metrics include the number of uniques, what the share was, and how they’re trending from one week to the next. Read the rest of this entry »


Social TV Week In Review: Research & Musings

Must read this week: a nice summary of research in 2012 available in The Guardian.

Also recommended: Scott Feinberg’s musings on social media’s influence on programming.

For the rest of this week’s tops stories… Read the rest of this entry »


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! Read the rest of this entry »


Social TV Week in Review: The News! (+ Great Pros & Cons)

Can TV go social without being ruined? asks The Next Web. What if Social TV Is Less Social Than We Think? questions All Things D. What about The Two Biggest Hurdles Social TV Still Needs to Overcome? Ad Age wonders. If you need convincing, try letting Simon Mainwaring explain Why social media is critical to the future of TV. Allow MediaPost to assure you that the Future Of TV Looks Bright Thanks To Social Media. And if you’re still not sold let Social Media Week help you count the 5 Ways Social Media Is Improving Television.

For these and other great stories, please keep reading! Read the rest of this entry »