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torsdag 3 november 2011

Social TV Trends

As I've been working the last year in the mobile department of a TV broadcaster in Germany one of my biggest fields of work was Social TV and how to engage the audience while watching TV. Here are some of the trends and applications out there in the field of Social TV I want to share with you guys.

One of the key players in the area of Social TV is Twitter. More and more TV shows integrate hashtags in the program or try to get into contact with the audience while watching the show. This video gives a really good of example of what I'm talking about:

In the area of Social TV more and more "social check-in" services appear giving users the possibility to check into different types of media, but especially TV shows and movies, like foursquare or Facebook Places allow you to check into locations. Sharing what you're watching and what you think about the show is becoming more important especially in the USA. The two big players in this area are GetGlue and Miso.
GetGlue is one of the biggest services with over one million users especially in the US and a broad field of cooperation with TV networks, movie studios and other content creators. The users are rewarded for checking in with stickers most of them provided through the several content providers.
Miso on the other hand focuses more on TV giving the possibility to check into individual episodes of TV shows or matches of your favorite soccer team. The start-up that is also funded by Google Ventures is trying to expand it's functionality through syncing with your set-top box:

Another kind of applications is represented through Shazam and IntoNow. The first one got famous through the possibility to tag music you discover and is also expanding this into the TV program. But more importantly Shazam is teaming up with more and more TV stations to create the ability to tag TV series and thereby unlock additional content of the TV show.
IntoNow is a very young start-up that despite this fact has been acquired by Yahoo after 12 weeks of existence in the spring of 2011. With the help of IntoNow's Soundprint technology built into their application the user can check into nearly every program avaible even live programs like sports events. The app listens for some seconds to the TV program and compares the recording through digital watermarks with the live recordings in their database to determine what the user is watching. IntoNow created a very nice use case with Pepsi to show the marketing possibilities and with the support of Yahoo released a new version of their app for iPad and Android devices just yesterday.

Here is another very good video on the future of Social TV:

And one of the best blogs on the topic is lostremote, for everyone who might be interested in more information and use cases.´

That's enough input for one, but what do you guys think? Is there a future for Social TV and how might this future look like?

4 kommentarer:

  1. I have to admit I haven't used or even thought about social TV.

    "More and more TV shows integrate hashtags in the program or try to get into contact with the audience while watching the show"

    I can't decide if this is defensive (try to "win back" lost audiences) or offensive (*everybody* watches TV and now TV will be better/more social/interactive than ever before)?

  2. I think it might be both. On the one hand the TV industry especially is facing a shift to the on demand usage of their main content being TV series. Therefore they have to emphasize on the unique attribute of TV: live programs. Things like actors tweeting will the show is on air or direct live engagement with the audience are ways to embrace the possibilities of applications like Twitter to strengthen the bond with the TV content.
    And I think again we have a topic where a critical mass is needed, there are just to few people especially in Europe that use such services to tell if such services have an impact on the audience and the experience of watching TV with friends (at least virtually).

  3. I agree that TV has to use the two or more screen solution more and more to keep up to date with the technology. I think it is a really interesting subject and I did some research on how the US-sitcom 'How I Met Your Mother' uses different solutions to engage the audience. On one hand it is necessary for the broadcasters to follow new trends but it also offers them the possibility (in the case of sitcoms or series) to create a whole world around the characters so people can sort of 'live' the series.
    In the case of 'How I Met Your Mother' they use different options to do so:
    -they create all homepages that are named in the show (;; and many more)
    -they created a myspace profile for 'Robin Sparkles' the singer name of one of the characters
    -Barney's blog can be read on the internet and he can be followed by twitter, so it seems as if he was a real person
    -'Not-A-Fathers-Day' Merchandising articles are available online; (Barney celebrates when he finds out that he is NOT gonna be a father)
    -the slapsgiving countdown was a real homepage as well
    -in the superbowl episode Barney holds up his phone numnber on national TV in the hope of getting in contact with girls, when fans called this number they could listen to Barney inviting them to a date in the pub where 'How I Met Your MOther' takes place.

    So on different platforms fans get the impression that the people in the series really exist which makes it easier for them to engage in a 'relatenship'. This phenomenon is called parasocial relationships. And is a most interesting subject.

  4. Here's an update on the area of Social TV:

    50 Apps That Socialize Your TV