Jul 14 2011
TV is battling to keep viewers glued to the TV screen, and surprisingly TV executives are turning to social media.
A new trend called “social TV” could be the key to keeping live TV audiences that the industry is looking for. Each night, more and more viewers are turning on the TV, then jumping on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone and chatting about the show on social networks.
TV operators have started to try to capitalise on the natural buzz, and Facebook is positioning itself to be the go-to solution for TV operators.
Generally, users log into Facebook to see what their friends are doing. The network focuses on personal relationships that may or may not include common interests. This means that integrating with Facebook offers TV executives a unique opportunity to personalise TV.
Facebook’s main benefit to TV comes from its extensive reach (600 million active users), and the sheer mass of data available. Facebook boasts a huge social graph: the average user has 130 friends that the user has specifically chosen to interact with. This means if a user’s friend has talked about a TV show recently, they would like to hear about it. Even if just one friend mentions the show, the comment is relevant because of the personal relationship.
Through the Facebook API, TV operators can build apps and interactive experiences around TV shows.
Additionally, TV operators are increasingly looking to use social media to enhance the EPG. Several companies such as Comcast, HBO, and TV Genius have starting experimenting with integrating Facebook into the TV experience. Comcast have included Facebook in their new Xfinity TV Guide and the logic is clear: if friends are chatting about The Apprentice, users may want to know so they can watch, too.
Instead of replacing the EPG, social media is provides the perfect tool for personalising the TV experience. While TV is a “lean back” medium, a significant proportion of viewers are starting to share their thoughts online while they are watching.
As of today, TV Genius has released Facebook-integrated EPG that personalises the TV Guide with your friend’s recommendations. (Give it a go here)
Facebook is suited to TV experiences that involve your friends and chosen brands, and could play a huge role in personalising TV and making it more interactive. Over the next year, expect to see the face of TV changing: it’s not just about sitting back and watching blankly anymore.
Source: World TVPC
Jul 4 2011
A TVGuide.com study found that more viewers chatted and tweeted while watching live TV during the past season and the top 10 most popular “social shows” are all aired on broadcast networks. Such social viewing is giving rise to a new metric, social impressions, that bolsters the gross ratings points. Stations are also discovering the value of tying local programming in with the Facebook and Twitter.
Have you heard about social media’s latest killer app? It’s called television.
According to a TVGuide.com study, social media discussions about television shows drove more live viewing and second-screen engagement during the 2010-11 television season and, interestingly, the top 10 “social shows” all aired on broadcast networks.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
What’s interesting is that Idol is the only non-scripted program to appear on the list. The rest are broadcast network dramas, ranging from the general appeal (Criminal Minds) to the niche audience (Fringe).
These programs all share a similar trait: they all represent “appointment viewing” for their fans. And more and more, those fans prefer to watch their favorite shows live rather than time-shifted. That way, they are able to participate in the social world of the program instantly — where they can go online and passionately discuss the program they’ve just watched without fear of “spoilers.”
Not only do these highly-rated shows deliver committed audiences, but overwhelmingly, these viewers go online and act as social ambassadors for a program. Seventy-seven percent report that they use social media to share their love of a show; 65% use it as a platform to help save their favorite shows; and 35% use it to try to introduce new shows to their friends.
But don’t look for them to be Tweeting or chatting on Facebook during a program. Only 24% of the respondents who use Facebook to talk about these shows do so during a broadcast — while 68% of them go to Facebook to discuss it afterwards. (Twitter has a slightly more active in-program commentary, with 47% tweeting during a broadcast.)
The phenomenon of social media/television interaction has not gone unnoticed by advertisers. Along with the usual statistics, a new metric — social impression — is beginning to play a role in deciding where ad dollars go.
Social impressions are more than just the number of posts on Facebook and Twitter, according to Networked Insights. The company has developed a formula that includes conversation volume, page views, frequent visitors and the traits of the posters and forums where the discussions are happening. Media buyers can use such formulas to expand schedules by purchasing multiple shows with lower gross ratings points (GRPs), but with higher social impressions.
The more dedicated the fans of a show are, the more impact their social media presence has. Maureen Bosetti, EVP of broadcast and buying for Optimedia US, recently told Media Daily News that social media considerations allow “us to tap into sponsorship opportunities across multiple platforms and amplify our client’s message where consumers are most engaged.”
The social media effect is also showing up in the strategies of television stations. Gannett Broadcasting has done a number of marketing promotions on its NBC affiliates built around late-season entry, The Voice. The result? Most of those six Gannett stations in the top 25 markets are ranked either first or second in the time period during which the show airs. And latenight local programming, for virtually all of Gannett’s 11 NBC affiliates, has seen noticeable bumps in the ratings.
Can local television broadcasters take advantage of the social media/television interaction to directly benefit one of our greatest assets: local news?
Last year, Hearst Television commissioned a local TV news study from Frank N. Magid Associates. The study revealed that local television ranked highest among all news programming in driving purchases of products and services; furthermore, the study showed that viewers were far more engaged with advertisements on local television news than with ads in newspapers or on radio.
Imagine the possibilities of marrying those already high levels of engagement for local television news with the power of social media tools.
Jen Lee Reeves, new media director, KOMU Columbia-Jefferson, Mo, did just that when the devastating tornado hit nearby Joplin. As she reported on PBS.org’s Mediashift: “When the tornado hit, our Facebook fans knew they could trust us to coordinate and share important information…. Some of the conversations I had with our Facebook audience led to our morning show coverage…. It’s an example of how a commitment to social media can help encourage ongoing conversations between a newsroom and its community.”
Broadcast TV + local news + hyper-local social media — now there’s a killer app.
Source: TV NewsCheck
Jun 28 2011
Increasingly, social media is being talked about in the context of TV. Some are even going so far as to view Twitter and Facebook as the savior of live TV, helping to draw audiences away from the DVR.
More and more shows are starting to integrate Twitter and Facebook campaigns to increase engagement, and get people talking.
Twitter and TV
Twitter has already experienced a lot of success in driving huge event TV. The Oscars, Royal Wedding, Grammys and SuperBowl are all high-profile events that have used Twitter to drive hype and ratings.
The most recent show to generate buzz around Twitter is The Voice. This show has integrated extensively with Twitter, which it attributes to its success. The show has 4 tweeting judges, tweeting contestants, on-screen hashtags, and selected Twitter messages from viewers will soon start appearing on the bottom of the screen during live episodes.
Facebook and Social TV
Facebook has started attending TV industry conferences, and raising the company’s social TV profile. Facebook’s head of International Business gave an interesting speech at MIPTV this year about how Facebook can be used as the “second screen” to enhance the TV experience and foster TV-based communities.
True Blood is a great example of a recent Facebook/TV integration. HBO’s True Blood has developed a Facebook app that capitalizes on the user’s personal social graph. The app pulls data from the user’s Facebook profile and generates a custom video starring the user, their friends, and True Blood characters. The involvement of their friends instantly makes the app more compelling, and acts as a neat marketing message.
Of course, the most important question for TV executives is if social media integration translates into ratings (and more advertising revenue).
Interestingly findings presented at Mashable Connect by Christy Tanner from TVGuide.com and findings in the UK demonstrate the most social shows on TV aren’t necessarily those with the highest ratings.But despite this, each week more TV operators get on board with social media.
Essentially, regardless of its direct impact on viewing habits today social media still serves as an excellent way for viewers to engage with TV, and builds on the natural behavior that viewers are already exhibiting.
Without a doubt, social integration can help build interactivity, personalization, content discovery, and engagement into the TV experience- all essential differentiators for any TV operator.
Jun 22 2011
The entry by dominant multinational companies normally heralds the coming of age for a field, and this appears to be happening now for multiscreen TV after major announcements by both Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent.
But a closer look reveals that both companies were already in the multiscreen field and were actually announcing partnerships to flesh out their portfolio, and make a large splash to show they really had arrived this time. Perhaps it is when the big boys make a loud noise that we can say a field is ready for lift off.
Cisco had already entered the multiplatform arena with its Videoscape system in January 2011, comprising hardware and software with four components. There was a back-office management system; a thin client for IP-enabled devices, gateways and set-tops; a device, content and rights-aware network software layer; and a reference distribution-architecture, which operators can implement using Cisco networking hardware.
But Cisco did not trumpet this too loudly because the platform lacked some features operators would expect to have to deploy a full blown multiscreen package, notably the tools for creating flexible and intuitive user interfaces and presentation graphics. A partnership with UK-based developer of multiplatform content products Red Bee Media was brewing, culminating in the follow up announcement last week of the RedPlayer service, combining Red Bee Media’s creative, digital content and media management services with key elements of the Cisco Videoscape platform for blending TV with Web content, personal media and social networking.
RedPlayer will include three Cisco Videoscape Media Suite modules, the Content Management System; Entitlement, which provides tools for configuring and enforcing content access rules; and Publisher, to produce comprehensive, multilevel content feeds and playlists. Also in the package are the Videoscape Soft Client, along with video streaming and download players for the PC and Mac.
Like Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent already had a multiscreen package with its Multiscreen Video Solution, and also like Cisco decided that help was needed to turn this into a compelling platform, in this case for IPTV and cable TV operators. The resulting combined platform has three components. Firstly there is a management tool, thePlatform’s mpx, which can be provided in both ‘cloud-based’ and self-hosted versions, enabling media and metadata management, rights enforcement and subscriber administration. Second, there is an operator-deployable content delivery network (CDN), based on Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix. Thirdly there are customisable multiscreen applications for tablets, PCs and mobiles, to which both partners contributed. Alcatel-Lucent therefore needed the partnership for some of the higher-level content and customer, management facilities, rather like Cisco.
But Alcatel-Lucent’s partnership looks more comprehensive, since thePlatform is a subsidiary of Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator with about 23 million customers. On the one hand this partnership may deter some of Comcast’s U.S. rivals from deploying the Alcatel-Lucent/thePlatform multiscreen solution. At the same time though, Comcast has become arguably the leading mover and shaker of the cable TV industry. Comcast has forged ahead of its rivals and vendors by developing CMAP (Converged Multimedia Access Platform) to enable coexistence between EdgeQAM transport and the CMTS (Cable Modem Termination System) based DOCSIS systems increasingly used to deliver unicast video services as well as broadband Internet within the HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) access layer.
CMAP will also provide a standard platform for connecting multigigabit IP/Ethernet backbone networks with any access infrastructure, including wireless, fiber and DSL, as well as HFC. Having been broadly embraced as a standard in Europe as well as the U.S., CMAP is therefore an important component for many cable operators’ multiscreen strategies. Even Comcast’s rivals have admitted that CMAP could play a vital role in seeing off competition from IPTV rivals operating in the same, more densely populated areas.
But there is another view that can be taken on the specific developments by Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco, which is that they are not going further than rival platforms already in place. Many significant vendors in the pay TV arena, such as Motorola, Ericsson, NDS and Irdeto, already offer some form of multiscreen platform. Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco argue that these platforms all lack one or more of the vital ingredients for multiplatform deployment, which include enabling technology for a cloud-based shared infrastructure to provide scalability and economies of scale; client-side software for video playback, support for innovative and intuitive user interfaces, CDN delivery, rights enforcement, and content management.
Yet even if this is true, there are a few players dedicated to the field, such as Brightcove, that really do boast a comprehensive multiscreen development platform with proven deployments covering all the main bases. Yet with so many operators still deliberating over their multiscreen strategies, there is all to play for, which is why so much noise is being made and perhaps not enough light shed.
Source: Broadcast Engineering
Jun 22 2011
First there was scripted TV, then reality television became the “it” format. But now that’s getting old and stale, and the audience wants something new. The Voice delivers that, with a highly engaging and social co-viewing experience that’s earned it a spot as the top-rated new show this season. People are ready for a change in entertainment, and The Voice is providing a nice alternative.
If you’re not familiar with it, The Voice features musician coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, along with host Carson Daly. During “blind auditions,” singers performed one at a time, and if they caught the attention of one the judges — based on voice alone, as the judges were turned around — then they would join that coach’s team. Each team started with eight artists, then were whittled down to four. The coaches, all of whom have achieved success in the music industry, are grooming the artists and developing their voices and performance skills. Each week, a few artists are eliminated, and the last one standing will be crowned “The Voice.”
Mashable spoke with Nicolle Yaron, the show’s supervising producer, Andrew Adashek, the social media consultant, and Alison Haislip, the social media correspondent, about the show’s social media integration and why it’s effective.
Borrowing an Idea and Making it Bigger
The Voice isn’t exactly a new show — it was adapted from a Dutch television show called The Voice of Holland. During its first season, the show began trending on Twitter worldwide, and NBC executives realized that there was something to the format. Executive Producers Mark Burnett and Audrey Morrissey were passionate about the highly social program and “stood behind us” as the American crew adapted the show, says Yaron.
The Dutch set had screens with live tweets, a social media room, a social media correspondent and a website. Yaron says NBC’s challenge was to take the format from something that serves a small country the size of Rhode Island and make it work over multiple time zones, and also create much more noise and value and push the boundaries in American TV.
“From the very beginning, the social media and digital aspect of the show was very important to us,” says Yaron. She wanted to create active engagement and offer accessibility to the coaches to mirror how the show offers access to top stars. “We wanted to create a true, real-time co-viewing experience.”
The American version expanded the social aspect to include coach tweets, as well as fan tweets, and because of the massive audience, NBC had to create a filtering program to manage the volume (something the Dutch didn’t have to deal with). So while the idea derived from Holland, the U.S. crew had to develop an entire infrastructure to manage the social media content that would be generated each week.
But what separates The Voice from other social television shows is that NBC doesn’t use social media as an awareness and marketing tool — it is core to the show as a whole, so the digital integrations are very organic. “In this day and age, digital and social media for a successful television show can’t be an afterthought — it has to be established in pre-production and developed throughout the show,” Yaron says. She and Adashek laid out a three-stage digital strategy and spent countless hours figuring out the social media strategy and how the show would leverage the judges and the artists. “All the goals we set out have been reached or exceeded, and I think it’s only going to grow and grow as we go into next season. As digital and social media change, we will change too. We set the trends now and we will incorporate new technologies as they develop.”
Casting The Coaches
The show is called The Voice, and not surprisingly the four judges all have distinct radio voices — the raspy Cee Lo Green, the belting Christina Aguilera, the high tenor Adam Levine and the crooner Blake Shelton. Christina wasn’t even on Twitter when she joined the cast as a coach, but her effusive “you go girl” tweets and diva-stacked team have garnered her more than 440,000 followers since she joined — and she has only tweeted 47 times. While Christina’s not the most active tweeter, Yaron says her fans are the most dedicated, and on the show’s premiere day, the “bionic army” had #TeamXtina trending from 9 a.m. until the premiere.
Green had a Twitter account before the show, but wasn’t very active. Levine was moderately active and Shelton was very active on Twitter. But all four coaches had to step up their game for the show, since NBC pushed coach engagement. Since the show is about the artist’s journey under the leadership of the coaches, Yaron says she wanted the coaches to live-tweet the show and broadcast the feeds onscreen in real time “so we continue the storytelling and enhance the experience for the viewers” even when the coach is not on camera. One joke amongst the crew is the “bromance” between Shelton and Levine, which is unabashedly broadcast on Twitter and followed by many of the show’s fans.
Much of the digital integration onscreen in driven by Alison Haislip, who’s no stranger to digital and social media — she spent four years at tech and gaming site G4. Now she’s The Voice‘s “in-show and online correspondent” hanging out in the V-Room with the contestants and serving as “your direct digital connection to everything” related to The Voice.
If you watch the show, you’ll notice that “#TheVoice” isn’t always on the screen reminding you to vote — it’s strategically placed onscreen at times when the producers feel the audience “would be compelled to talk about it.” And it’s an effective strategy. Yaron says that 70% of the tweets about the The Voice include the hashtag #TheVoice, a “phenomenal” rate that a Twitter spokesperson says is an “industry high.”
Last week, during the first of the live shows, tweets that used #TheVoice or the handle of the show, a coach name or an artist name appeared in the lower third section of the screen during parts of the live show. In the V-Room, Haislip is tasked with bridging the online and broadcast elements of the show, and encourages fans to take their dialogue to Facebook, Twitter, NBC Live and NBC.com. “Fans could tweet or post on our Facebook wall and then I could, on air, ask the artists the questions and fans can see the response,” says Haislip. “It really engages the viewers instead of letting them sit back — they become a part of the show.”
The challenge has been managing the sheer volume of tweets — during airtime, there are upwards of 3,000 tweets per minute. “Filtering tweets live has been really interesting because as the show is progressing, the conversation around the show really transforms,” says Adashek. “We have to make sure it fits within broadcast standards, and we want to keep the tweets super fresh and relevant to what the viewers are seeing on TV.” (In case you’re wondering, the West Coast sees a rebroadcast of the East Coast show, so the “live tweets” are taken from the initial airing. However, the West Coast viewers are activated in other ways, and Haislip encourages them to live tweet.)
NBC has been working closely with Twitter to master the live tweet process, and Adashek says Twitter has been very helpful and “really forthcoming with a lot of data and metrics,” which helps the show maximize the impact of its social media-centric platform and also measure its success.
And it is indeed successful. Adashek says that last week, during the show’s first live performances, every contestant, coach and team trended, as did song titles and “Jersey Girl” — an homage to contestant Raquel Castro, who starred in the 2004 movie of that name. “Everything trended last week, no matter how good or bad it was,” he says. “There was enough inertia that everyone was trending.”
“When we look at the graphs and data on Twitter, we can see the peaks and valleys around the calls-to-action — the tweets and the hashtags and the performances,” says Adashek. “It’s like watching The Matrix — we’re pulling massive amounts of data, and when you’re seeing that many tweets, you really can see [trends and sentiment] right way.”
“Twitter was a natural first because it’s very live and real-time, so it lends itself to events,” says Adashek. Facebook is also an important platform for The Voice, but Adashek says it’s more long-term, has different content and is building a fanbase and laying the groundwork for future seasons. Since the coaches have their own highly engaged Facebook Pages, The Voice has been able to reach out to those fans and pull them to the show’s Facebook hub. For instance, last week when Team Christina performed “Lady Marmalade,” the Page gained nearly 10,000 likes within a few minutes.
The Voice is about a journey, and Yaron says the NBC.com homepage has been focusing on “24/7 storytelling and continuing all of the reality stories and experiences of the artists and the coaches and the rivalries between them.” By cultivating the story online and providing a look behind the scenes, The Voice is becoming more than just a weekly television show — it’s nonstop entertainment online, complemented by an hour or two of live performances every week.
“The artists are not sequestered, they’re encouraged to talk about the show as much as they can,” Haislip says. “Regardless of how they do on the show, they still will come out of the competition with something that is going to help them in the future, and they’re all getting a huge leap ahead of the competition.”
That “something” Haislip refers to is digital savvy and a strong fanbase. From the minute they landed in LA for blind auditions, artists were given training in blogging and Facebook Pages and handed Samsung Galaxy Tabs and cameras to document everything from team dinners to rehearsals with photo and video. Each artist has his own hub on the site that links to a blog, Facebook, Twitter, video and photos — viewers really have the opportunity to be heavily invested in the show and the artists, and that translates to better ratings and higher engagement. Giving the artists free reign has let their personalities flourish — Beverly McClellan has started a fake talk show called, “What’s Up With That?” and Jared Blake captured his new ink session on video.
“This is something that every other reality show has kind of shied away from, but we feel really strongly about it,” says Yaron. “We are giving the artists the same platform that real musicians have. We’re training them and mirroring the new ways in which the music industry works. We’re giving them the tools to be the next Lady Gaga. It will help them stay in the competition and become successful music stars. We felt that it was time for a reality show to do that.”
While traditional shows like American Idol — and even The Voice of Holland — rely on calls and texts (Idol only recently launched Facebook voting) to log votes for contestants, The Voice has emphasized digital. Of course there’s the old standard of voting by phone, but there’s also an NBC Live app, NBC.com and an iTunes-driven voting platform. Instead of texting to vote, you can vote with your wallet and purchase your favorite songs, available from Universal Republic Records. Viewers can vote up to 10 times with each method, so the show encourages cross-platform engagement.
“The iTunes component was a huge part of the digital strategy — it’s an active vote,” says Yaron.
“The story of The Voice is not just an hour or two every week,” Yaron says. “It lives online all day and all week long, and it will continue all year long. This is a living, breathing entity, it’s not just show-based.”
And it might just be the future of television.
Jun 16 2011
It has now been a couple of years since I cut my cable and began exclusively watching Internet video on my home television. I still feel that it was one of the wiser decisions I’ve made with technology, saving me hundreds of dollars a year and countless headaches dealing with a cable company.
Was this just a move to be expected of a techie? Some have speculated that cutting the cable cord is simply a fad. But a new report issued on Wednesday suggests that if it is a fad, it’s one that’s moving into the mainstream.
The report, the result of a survey of 2,000 United States adult broadband users, found that people who use Netflix to stream Internet video to their televisions are twice as likely to cancel, or slim down, their cable television options as they were a year ago. The report comes from the Diffusion Group, a Dallas-based media research firm.
When the Diffusion Group surveyed Netflix members in 2010, they found that 16 percent of customers were planning to downgrade or cancel their cable television service. During the same survey this year, the number of customers planning to make that change had doubled to 32 percent.
The report also found that although the majority of those surveyed cited economic reasons and “the need to save money” as a rationale for canceling cable, 34 percent said a growing use of online video was the culprit, “two-thirds of which cite Netflix in particular as the primary perpetrator,” the report says.
Now, instead of having only the option to pay a cable company to deliver content, people have an array of choices and devices. Netflix clearly saw this trend coming, and over the past year has started offering its video content on mobile phones, tablets, computers, game consoles, or devices that hook up to a television, including Boxee and Apple TV. The company also began offering customers a streaming-only option late last year.
Source: The NY Times
Jun 9 2011
Many second-screen experiences these days are rather elementary — after all, we’re still in the early throes of social TV. But in collaboration with AttractTV, MTV.com served up a compelling second screen site that corresponded with the MTV Movie Awards.
The MTV VIP Pass was a feed of a variety of behind-the-scenes cameras with a picture-in-picture of the actual broadcast (the audio corresponded with the behind-the-scenes cams). Above, you’re seeing an aerial view of Reese Witherspoon accepting her 2011 MTV Generation Award. Then over the top, you could layer a social chat, live polls, MTV’s Instagr.ram photos and my favorite — a “share this first” window.
The “share this first” feature is ingenious. It highlights video clips from the broadcast shortly after they air, prompting users to share them on Facebook or Twitter. Above, a replay of the Foo Fighter’s live performance popped up over a behind-the-scenes cam of Justin Bateman, urging second-screen viewers to share it. Other clips included the “Breaking Dawn” trailer and an exclusive look at the upcoming Harry Potter movie. It’s a great way to kick-start content sharing right at the moment people care the most.
The social chat worked rather well — Facebook or Twitter — and a window across the top of the screen displayed tweet-like prompts from MTV. At times, it was a lot going on, but MTV is targeted to teens and 20-somethings who can juggle it. Plus, the windows were draggable, so you could position them (or close them) as you please. The only missing piece: MTV News’ iPad and iPhone apps only showed the behind-the-scenes feed, without the interactivity.
It’s all powered by AttractTV, which “adds a layer of interactivity to online video, live or on demand, with a self service web based authoring tool to manage and control the experience,” explains Guy Tomer, founder and CTO of Attractv. Called “Vidgets,” or video widgets, Attractv layers them over an existing media player.
Here’s the “Share this First” Vidget in the Attractv authoring tool. “Right now we have a fully functional Flash solution and HTML5 client is in its alpha phase,” he explains. “I expect the first commercial version to be out in a few weeks – this way iPad viewers could enjoy attracTV as well.”
Just like with the Video Music Awards, MTV brought back the Twitter Tracker, parsing a barrage of tweets in real-time to come up with the top trends of the event, from the top actors and actresses to the most-talked-about movies. Like last time, the Tracker design was powered by Stamen. Throughout the broadcast, MTV plugged various hashtags to correspond with the moment, with #MovieAwards being the predominate theme.
Jun 1 2011
Mobile phones are the favorite multitasking distraction for TV watchers, according to a recent study, posing questions on how advertising to reach consumers may change in the future.
According to a study by video ad company YuMe and IPG Media Lab, 60 percent of TV watchers toyed with their cell phones while in front of the television. Another 33 percent watched TV with their laptops on, and 12 percent also used their tube time to “do work.” Only six percent watched TV distraction-free.
But while multitasking is nothing new in a culture where people sleep with their phones at arms’ length at night, phones may actually be able to pull viewers’ attentions completely away from TV in favor of data on their handsets. Sixty-three percent of TV ads were totally ignored in favor of phones, and just 25 percent could recall the ads they had seen unaided.
Considering the expense of TV advertising, the results may trouble businesses who have relied on the medium as the cornerstone of advertising campaigns. Companies will instead need to start recalibrating advertising strategies as mobile emerges as a larger platform, especially as phones and tablets emerge more and more as media devices on their own, often being used while TVs are on as well.
It is not just a matter of moving video advertising online, either — 46 percent of viewers were completely distracted by their phones, even while watching TV online.
Instead, companies may need to rethink mobile advertising interaction altogether to include features like high-engagement, complementary apps and social media. Some TV executives have already hooked into the synergy between TVs and auxiliary devices like phones and laptops, incorporating live tweeting from a show’s stars or producers during broadcast to create buzz on Twitter. Networks like HBO are also creating social media experiences like HBO Connect to draw in viewers during show broadcasts.
Companies may even be heartened to see that, despite the increasing amount of TV that can be watched online and in mobile settings, traditional TV watching remains central to home entertainment, for the time being. Media consumption may be shifting to a “multi-screen” model, in which devices function as “second screens” to what’s happening in the TV monitor instead of completely supplanting TVs themselves, despite the fact that slightly more people are eschewing TV ownership altogether.
Some advertising companies are already trying to leverage the “second screen” phenomenon: ad startup Second Screen Networks recently synced ads on the second screen with those that appeared during “American Idol” while mobile ad network IntoNow and other mobile app makers have also discussed running companion ads on mobile devices during other shows’ broadcasts.
The study’s results, while taken from a small sampling, show that media consumption is an increasingly fragmented experience. No doubt advertisers will soon find their way no matter where viewers direct their attention, whether it be on televisions, on phones, or on tablets.
May 24 2011
It’s pretty clear: TV is no longer about every family sitting down to watch “Ed Sullivan” at 7pm each night.
The lines between digital media are starting to blur: TV can be accessed anywhere, on any connected TV. Additionally, the amount of available TV content has exploded with the birth of OTT, VoD, catch up, and streaming media. Social TV is the natural child of this revolution: suddenly people are consuming content in new ways.
Social TV essentially makes everyone a curator, and empowers viewers to filter and recommend TV content themselves. By voicing their opinions on Twitter and Facebook, suddenly viewers have a much bigger say in how content is curated, and what shows rise to the top.
Social TV is still a growing and important trend. Key value is created by inviting everyone – not just the experts- to curate content, generating buzz and chatter. And socially curating content is becoming an increasingly popular activity – even if consumers don’t directly know they are doing it. And as a result, people are turning to Twitter and Facebook to find out what’s hot on TV that night.
However while many viewers are actively curating content with their Tweets and status updates, does it have the desired results?
Social TV…with a caveat
However, while social is the buzz word of the moment, there is some evidence that social networks are actually starting to lose some of their holds over the hearts and minds of consumers.
Surprisingly, the typical Facebook user doesn’t even know 20% of their friends, and the authority of peers has notably declined 4% since 2009. Instead, consumers have increasingly placed their trust in the advice of experts.
Social TV also doesn’t always operate the way we expect to it. According to new research presented by Christy Tanner from TVGuide.com, the most social shows on TV aren’t necessarily those with the highest Nielsen ratings:
Top 10 Most Social Shows of the 2010-2011 TV Season
2. American Idol
3. Criminal Minds
10. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Although some of these shows, like NCIS and American Idol, are also extremely popular in the Nielsen ratings, most TV shows in the list buck the trend. Programs like Glee, which have huge social media followings and a great web presence, barely rank in Nielsen’s Top 40.
This means that while social TV may not be driving new viewers to the show, it’s a great measure of audience engagement. In particular, 27-33 year old women on Facebook are the most active sharers, and drive the highest conversion rates.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter beats Facebook when it comes to engagement while a show is airing. 50% of users said they tweet about the show they are watching, compared with only 35% who said they post to Facebook.
Content Curation is King
During Mashable Connect, Steve Rubel, EVP of Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman, took the stage to talk about how consumers are dealing with consumer overload.
According to Rubel, consumers use a variety of sources – not just their social networks- to discover what’s personally relevant.
So in an era of content overload, how can TV operators get attention?
It’s essential to remember that each viewer decides what to watch a little differently; while some viewers know exactly what they want, others are simply browsing for something new to watch. Rubel pointed to Richard Edelman’s “Media Cloverleaf” as a solution. The Media Cloverleaf features four distinct spheres of media which should all be utilized to engage the public on a regular basis.
In other words, multiplatform strategies that include social TV are essential. Viewers are already actively curating TV content whether operators like it or not. It looks like social TV behaviour is only set to grow- how TV operators capitalise and innovate around the trend will determine their success.
Source: World TVPC
May 18 2011
We are very excited to share that the BeyondTV team will be presenting today at TV of Tomorrow 2011 Show (TVOT) in San Francisco.
TVOT is an annual conference in San Francisco for global gathering of executives, technologists and creatives working in the Interactive and Multi platform Television industry/community.
The show will feature a mix of keynotes, panels, debates, general sessions, workshops, new technology/product presentations, and more.
Some of the issues to be explored include:
- Connected-TV app stores, over-the-top delivery of live and on-demand programming, the “open cable API,” “cable as an app,” and more: the rapidly evolving relationship between the pay-TV, consumer electronics and programming/content industries.
- Reports from the field: How tcommerce, interactive advertising, social TV, connected-TV apps and other interactive TV deployments are fairing in the real world, and what these deployments tell us about the business models for the TV of tomorrow.
- The economics of interactive TV: which interactive platforms and services are generating revenues today and how?
- The future of TV design: How to ensure that usability and high-quality design become a core element of the interactive TV user experience, and not just an afterthought; strategies for designing cross-platform interactive video experiences; making the business case for good design; and more.
- The significance of pay-TV operators’ and broadcasters’ embrace of the iPad and other companion devices.
- The extent to which the popularity of social TV could change the nature of television programming and the economics of television.
- Enabling broadcast-synchronized interactivity through connected-TV apps. Hybrid TV and its significance for pay-TV operators.
- How gestural control and touchscreen interfaces could alter the user experience of television. The impact of new interactive broadband video technologies (hotspotting, overlays, image tracking, etc.) on the interactive TV space.
- The relationship between interactive TV, data generation and targeted advertising: new opportunities for measurement, analysis and addressability that are made possible by the advent of a national interactive TV platform.
- How interactive TV will impact local broadcasters and their markets. How interactive technologies are giving rise to new forms of cross-platform storytelling and new narrative genres.
- Outreach and evangelism: how to drive consumer awareness and adoption of interactive TV. Whether cable, satellite and telcos should work together on a united national interactive TV vision.
The TV of Tomorrow show will takes place for two days, May 17-18, 2011 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Source: TVOT 2011
May 16 2011
Everyone has an opinion, and when it comes to TV shows everyone can now air that opinion. And the reason? Facebook and Twitter, the two most influential social platforms. Social networking and TV watching go together like ham and eggs, but a new report goes further, saying that the two powerhouses are also becoming the power brokers for the new global, digital TV landscape.
The report by Futurescape, a digital media research company says in their report on social TV that “Facebook and Twitter are now power brokers for the global television industry,”
he report looks at the ways social networking are permeating pretty much everyone and everywhere, “Their ability to create new business opportunities and engage viewers, boosting advertising and pay-TV revenue, gives them a significant and increasing influence over all aspects of television.”
In effect, social networks can now make or break a show. They can propel a niche show on a minor channel into the mainstream. And also kill a multi-million budget show after an episode.
There are some more interesting points coming from the report, including the fact that electronic program guides (EPG’s) are now incorporating Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to send an instant recommendion. And the important bit, “encouraging them to subscribe to pay-TV channels for particular programs.”
Big companies are seeing the power of social networking. Yahoo recently brought the social TV company IntoNow.
It may be seen as an interesting shift of power from the big Pay TV operators, but then it could just be seen as an extension of the TV review and critics who can also make or break a show.
Source: World TVPC
Apr 27 2011
Apr 27 2011
Apr 26 2011
Even for an industry known for its light-speed mergers, Yahoo’s acquisition of social TV service IntoNow was near record-breaking.
The announcement of the deal came only three months after IntoNow’s launch last January; TechCrunch sources put the sale price in the $20-$30 million range.
IntoNow is based on an iPhone app that can “hear” and detect the television show a user is watching and “check in” to the program, much in the way Foursquare allows users to check in to physical locations.
IntoNow also allows users to alert friends to their TV viewing patterns using Twitter and Facebook.
The company has also been pursuing deals with national brand advertisers; just last week IntoNow announced a deal with Pepsi in which users who tagged commercials in a new campaign for Pepsi MAX would receive coupons for a free soda at retailers like Target and CVS.
“We were all surprised to say the least but it makes a ton of sense and we’re ready to rock,” IntoNow wrote Monday in a blog post on its site. “We want to grow the experiences, platforms (yes we’ve heard you loud and clear: Android, iPad, web-based, etc.) and countries to engage with you, our community.
That takes resources and a global scale. Yahoo! has shown us that they are excited about what we’re doing and committed to continue innovating for our community.”
IntoNow currently has a catalog of US-based TV programming spanning some 150 million minutes and going back five years.
According to TechCrunch, Yahoo! was under pressure to complete the deal quickly, with both Facebook and Twitter pursuing the company while Yahoo was completing its due diligence.
Source: AD Week
Apr 18 2011
NBC’s getting more social. As the networks continue to dabble with Twitter and Facebook, NBC this week will unveil plans to take that kind of interactivity one step further.
Get ready for the launch of NBC Live (www.nbc.com/live), which will shoot out polls, trivia, insider commentary, photos and other behind-the-scenes information synced up to what’s happening in real time on-screen. As The Office features a scene with Dwight (Rainn Wilson, who serves as the site’s “host”), for example, NBC Live might ask users to vote on whether he deserves a promotion to branch manager.
NBC Live’s real backbone will be a social stream in which users can comment about what’s on screen and interact in real time with other viewers. A live moderator will be stationed at NBC to promote comments, weed out off-topic posts and coordinate all of the synced-up information.
“This is a great way for fans to communicate with each other as a companion to live TV, on an official site with real info,” says NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment president Vivi Zigler.
The goal: To get more viewers to turn off their DVRs and watch TV live (which would make advertisers happy).
NBC designed the new site with iPads in mind; the official NBC Live app is already available.
The site officially launches April 26 with the debut of The Voice but will eventually encompass all of the network’s shows.
Source: TV Guide
Apr 12 2011
New York, NY – SocialGuide, Inc. (www.SocialGuide.com), a New York-based social TV company, has secured $1.5 million in funding led by Alex Zubillaga and angel investors. The investment will be used towards technology developments and expanding key business relationships.
“The social TV space is nascent and is still being defined,” said Sean Casey, Founder and CEO of SocialGuide. “This funding will allow us to continue on the path of creating a true social TV platform that goes beyond check-in, to driving tune-in and creating deep social engagement experiences for consumers and networks.”
“With more than half of the nearly 300 million Americans who watch TV having a second screen experience, the market is ripe for a social TV product that connects with consumers and networks,” said Alex Zubillaga. “SocialGuide is the only product that is built around the existing social TV behavior that is happening with millions of consumers across the most popular social networks. Consumers now have one place to enjoy their favorite programming, and networks have a way to more deeply engage with their audience.”
SocialGuide (www.SocialGuide.com) is a privately held company based in Brooklyn, NY that is the first real-time social guide for TV and social TV platform that makes every show across every network instantly social. SocialGuide mines, filters, displays and ranks the millions of discussions happening on the most popular social networks about TV as it airs, enabling users to discover new shows and interact with their friends, fellow fans and stars of their favorite shows.
Source: Citybiz List
Apr 11 2011
Motorola has lauched its SocialTV Companion Service for TV service providers. The service that will work its smartphones and tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, Motorola Atrix and Droid Bionic is designed to engage TV viewers while they are watching television.
When people watch TV at the same time they will be able to share comments and interact real-time with friends and family via social networks using the Motorola SocialTV Companion Service. They will also be able to access content, applications or merchandise related to the program they’re watching.
Motorola’s SocialTV Companion Service includes, interactive games, social engagement real-time chat, TV show ratings and live feeds from leading social networking platforms.
The SocialTV Companion Service app is compatible with any Internet-connected tablet, smartphone or computer with HTML5 browser support.
Its yet another way for advertisers and brands to reach consumers with :
- Integrated social loyalty platform rewarding consumers for checking in to shows and participating in live discussions or games, with redemptions for discounts on merchandise.
- Real-time promotion of recommended products and merchandise related to the show being watched, that consumers can click through and purchase using their smartphone or tablet.
- Supports optional display of advertising or coupons that are clickable though companion smartphone or tablet.
- Display of online video clips related to the show that consumer is watching, viewable on the companion tablet/smartphone without leaving the provider-branded portal.
Motorola Mobility’s 2010 Media Engagement Barometer showed that nearly 40% of Americans would prefer a TV viewing experience that offered access to value-add services.
The Motorola Atrix was called revolutionary when it debuted at CES and won many awards. In March, at CTIA it won best smartphone E-Tech Award. After testing it, all reviewers gave high ratings for the speedy dual-core processor, beautiful touchscreen and docks.
Source: Wireless & Mobile News
Apr 6 2011
Mar 31 2011
LONDON: Young consumers in the UK are embracing the idea of “social TV”, discussing programmes on the web and via mobile apps, often in real time.
Digital Clarity, the agency, surveyed 1,300 mobile internet users in the country, all of which were under 25 years of age.
Some 80% of the panel utilised handsets to communicate with friends when watching television, according to the results.
More specifically, 72% of interviewees posted comments on the shows currently commanding their attention using Twitter, the microblogging platform.
Facebook recorded the next highest total on the same metric, registering 56%, while mobile applications logged 34%.
Among the audience engaging in this activity, 62% had leveraged all three options to air their views about such material.
The trend towards “second screening” can enhance enjoyment of both channels, rather than encouraging competition between the two mediums.
Elsewhere, 34% of contributors regarded simultaneous media use as “fun”, 32% believed it made broadcast content “more interesting”, and 42% prioritised the “community” aspect of this pastime.
Reality series like the X-Factor, teen-oriented shows including Skins, and soap operas Coronation Street and Eastenders have proved especially popular sources of web buzz.
“Up until 12 months ago, TV was struggling to reach the younger market as more and more channels were becoming available,” said Reggie James, founder of Digital Clarity.
“Social TV has changed this completely by turning programmes into online events where you have to watch them as they happen.”
James added: “The audience have already taken their seats and are ready to join the conversation. “It’s now up to the TV companies to tap into this huge and lucrative market.”
In December 2010, the European Interactive Advertising Association stated 30% of adults in the region frequently go online while watching TV.
This total reached 28% for reading newspapers and 21% for magazines.
Figures fell to 5% when it came to browsing the mobile internet at the same time as consuming broadcast content, but the overall rating 70% of people regularly employ a secondary form of media alongside TV.
Research from consultancy Deloitte published earlier this year, based on a poll of 2,000 Americans, revealed 75% now use different media at the same time.
In all, 42% of participants combined surfing the net with watching TV.
As previously reported by Warc, US broadcasters such as CBS and Viacom are attempting to exploit digital media to drive word of mouth about their shows.
Data sourced from Digital Clarity; additional content by Warc staff, 14 March 2011
Mar 31 2011
yap.TV is a free social TV guide that initially came out for the iPad last fall, and later for the iPhone and iPod touch.
yap.TV is billed as a second-screen companion, an app that you can utilize while watching your favorite series to connect with like-minded viewers through social media. If you’re watching the latest episode of American Idol and want to see what everyone else thinks of the finalists, this app is for you. But, it’s not for anyone who wants to avoid spoilers, even though yap.TV has a system that filters tweets by time zone to try and stop this.
When you launch yap.TV, you are prompted to either create a new account or link it to your Facebook or Twitter. After this, you’re presented with four tabs: a TV grid, favorites, friends and trends.
The grid is a generic guide featuring national programming.
You can flick to go back and forth in 30-minute increments on the grid, or tap the clock button to select a specific time of day or day of the week.
Tapping on a show brings up a new page just for the series. You have the option here to toggle the series as a favorite and see an episode description and the latest relevant tweet. In the top corner, you have an extras tab that will showcase pictures from the series. You also have several new options pertaining to social media surrounding the series: Fans, polls and private parties. This is where the meat of yap.TV is.
When you click on the Fans button, you’re taken to a screen featuring all the latest tweets about the series, thanks to a hashtag search. Depending on the series, you also have access to series stars’ tweets and, in the case of a show like American Idol, the contestants. Tapping on a tweet will allow you to reply or retweet material, and an in-app browser handles external feeds. A red button allows you to create new tweets and will post them to either Twitter, Facebook, yap’s internal social networking platform or any combination of the three.
The yap internal social network allows you to friend people through the app itself and lets you see how recently other users were watching that same series. Polls allow yap users to create polls tailored to a series. You can also see messages just from other yap users, called yaps.
Private parties are an extension of the group chats you see on instant messaging programs. Say I want to speculate on a certain aspect of a TV series and find a friend who feels the same way. We can privately chat with each other through yap.TV as we’re watching the series. You can have several of these private parties going on at the same time. Want to discuss Survivor with spoilers in one chat and without spoilers in another? This is perfect for that. Want to participate in American Idol and Glee chats at the same time? You can do that, too.
The strongest aspects of yap.TV are the real-time updates. One aspect of this was shown during Woz’s appearance on Big Bang Theory when he was using yap.TV to chat with viewers. Tweets are updated without any prompting at all. When on the friends tab, you can see your friends hop from program to program without a refresh. Programs that are trending duke it out for a place at the top. If yap.TV producers want to add pictures or update award-standings during the program, the app automatically refreshes when these updates happen.
This is what makes yap.TV stand out from its competitors. While there are other social TV programs out there, they mostly involve a viewer checking in, ala Foursquare, and doesn’t take it beyond there. There are a few other apps, such as Fox’s companion for Bones, that have fresh interactive elements during live broadcasts, but lack the social media aspect.
Right now, the app is limited regarding series you can search for from the guide and favorites to what’s currently available on broadcast and cable networks. There are also old favorites. I couldn’t find my favorite anime series, Slayers, but I did find Doctor Who, even though no new episodes are currently airing, and the Mary Tyler Moore show, which hasn’t been seen outside of local syndication in years. When a series’ next airing is scheduled, the time and network will appear on the favorites listing.
The iPad version of the app gives you a larger screen that allows you to rearrange your streams as you prefer. Other than the initial crashing, the main feature I find yap.TV lacking is the ability to tap at the top of the screen to leap back to the top of the page.
yap.TV is great for chatting with like-minded people about series that you enjoy. It’s at its best when you’re watching a live program, though DVR aficionados and even those of us catching up on a backlog via Netflix or Hulu will find it useful as well. It’s free, and there are no ads. If you enjoy chatting about what’s on TV, yap.TV is worth a spot on your iDevice.