Join us on Saturday, October 18.
Registration is now open.
The Summit portion of TVnext is on Monday, October 20th at Boston's ICA. The Hack will be on the 18th and 19th (to be announced next week). Hope to see you there!
I remember experiencing SocialGuide for the first time several years ago (back when it was a TV guide powered by Twitter). Its concept made so much sense and I actually used it quite often to discover popular shows on TV.
Today Xbox announced its partnership with Twitter integrating trending shows into its OneGuide as well as the MiniGuide.
BUT…Xfinity beat them to the punch as the company already integrated Twitter-trending shows its program guide.
I contributed a couple of comments to a recent ClickZ post about Target’s second screen stunt with TBS’s Cougar Town.
To expand a bit more, while I think it’s a really good thing for brands to try and find ways to break through TV audiences’ increasing distraction, I continue to wonder what it’ll take for third-party second screen apps to actually scale…to matter to mass audiences.
Outside of Twitter, second screen "social TV" apps have failed to attract mass repeat users. Remember Philo, Miso, GetGlue, and IntoNow? They’re gone now. And similar apps like Viggle and Zeebox aren’t exactly making waves lately.
Research tells us that most of our second screen multitasking has nothing to do with the TV shows we're watching. But when it does, we're primarily using Twitter (and other mainstream social media) to connect and express with others in real-time.
This is why we’ll continue to see specialized second screen apps pivot, fold, or sell-out as the industry has matures around Twitter (and potentially Facebook) as the de facto app that mainstream audiences use while watching television.
The exceptions to this are second screen apps that are purposefully built for inherently interactive TV shows (i.e. NBC’s Million Second Quiz). I still think there’s a strong use case for these genres of television. TBS’s Cougar Town isn't quite the Home Shopping Network — Most people who tune-in to that show aren't exactly in the mindset to buy a brand's product placements on the spot. They're simply trying to unwind by (hopefully) being entertained by a semi-mindless sitcom.
This season of American Idol has turbo charged its contestant lower-thirds with 3 ways to connect with the talent -- on Twitter, Instagram, and........Google+.
On one hand this is a smart move knowing that different viewers have different social networks of preference. On the other hand, it begs the question of whether or not we're cluttering our TV screens to appear highly social. I was struck by one of the contestants on-air comments to the effect that he's still figuring out Instagram yet FOX is pimping his handle just the same.
Not sure where this will go but one thing is quite evident: Google is clearly trying to get a piece of the social TV pie with its search-based voting integration and prime lower-third real-estate.
I wrote the following on January 15th for an upcoming social TV newsletter -- And as a testament to how quickly this space changes, in just a week and a half since I submitted this, Yahoo announced the shut down of its second screen app IntoNow and Second Screen app Viggle acquired Dijit. Plus Aereo announced yesterday that it has reached "capacity" in NYC and could no longer accept new customers (for now).
Anyway, here's what I wrote in its original form before all this news hit...
Here are 5 things in the social TV landscape that I think will either be a big #hit or a big #miss in 2014.
Second Screen Apps #miss: Lots of consolidation has been happening with social TV companies, the biggest of which was in the analytics sector in late 2012 and 2013 (SocialGuide, Bluefin Labs, Trendrr). Second screen TV apps will be a #miss this year as many will pivot, fold, or sell-out as the industry has matured around Twitter as the de facto app that mainstream audiences use while watching television. The one exception is second screen apps that are purposefully built for inherently interactive TV shows (i.e. NBC’s Million Second Quiz).
Snapchat #hit: As younger audiences flock to Snapchat, it's the perfect platform for fans to connect and get "bite sized" pieces of content from their favorite TV series in between episode airings. HBO's Girls is already paving the way for many more shows with teen and young adult followings to innovate on Snapchat as the breakout social TV #hit of 2014.
Brands + RTM #miss: Many brands continue to think that preying on big TV events in social media by live tweeting innocuous witticisms is an effective real-time marketing strategy. Without relevance and value, this is nothing more than pollution of the social TV backchannel. Yet we’ll unfortunately see more of this #miss in 2014. Brands that have restraint and are smart about when and how to engage in real-time are the ones who will be a #hit this year.
OTT Original Series #hit: With recognition at the 2013 Emmys and this year’s Golden Globe awards, Netflix Original Series have been recognized as being on par with the best of network and cable television. This momentum will lead to notable developments in the TV everywhere space, perhaps even tipping HBO to offer its HBO GO library as a stand-alone subscription service.
Aereo #hit and #miss: With the Supreme Court set to hear (and rule on) the Aereo case, its outcome has many consequences which makes it both a #hit and a #miss. But I’d argue that ultimately this is a bit #hit for the future of television as it’s yet another (positive) disruption in the marketplace (like OTT Original Series) that accelerates innovation in favor of consumers.
With the social TV space continuing to evolve so quickly, I cannot wait to see what next week (let alone next year) has in store...
Last Wednesday night, Justin Kanew asked me to Skype in to his Let's Get Digital live talkshow. An added bonus was, guest, Greg Goodfried who was one of the creators of Lonely Girl 15. Here's the 10 minute clip from the social TV segment:
It's a fun group of guys. In fact, Zev and Justin were two-time contestants on The Amazing Race. I particularly dig Justin's curiosity and genuine passion for emerging media. Check out the entire episode or past episodes.
Tonight was the AMAs - Yet another live pop culture television event ripe for "social TV." And retail brand Kohls accepted the challenge with its Jennifer Lopez "choose your own adventure"-like stunt reminiscent of what Hawaii Five-0 did almost a year ago - but on steroids.
How'd it do?
The bar char below (generated using Radian6) shows how many times the campaign's various hashtags were mentioned today (not just during the AMAs telecast).
This trends chart (below) does a better job showing the relative volume of each hashtag by the hour. Looking onward starting from what's labled 7pm, you can isolate hashtag usage to just during the AMA telecast.
The amount of participation in a given TV show's real-time Twitter TV polling is still a small percentage of that show's viewing audience (Just as Twitter is, for now, that of the U.S. population). But as I've said in the past, the objective of these kinds of executions are to generate and amplify buzz to either help drive tune-in or in Kohl's case, keep the brand top of mind for Black Friday. There certainly was no shortage of press about #GetJenniferThere - and you can absolutely bet that people are talking (and thinking) about Kohls tonight MUCH moreso than if the brand had just run standard TV spots. Hopefully for them that translates into retail sales this Friday...
For a while now, I’ve been fascinated by television’s real-time feedback loop driven in large part by Twitter. It’s one thing to simply put hashtags on TV shows (or commercials) but it’s another (more powerful) thing when TV becomes instantly interactive.
Twitter partner, Mass Relevance began experimenting with this during last season’s American Idol – and while the concept was “cool,” its execution showed much more potential rather than value. But value they achieved during Tuesday night’s live broadcast of The X Factor.
Hashtags for each batch of four contestants were referenced and shown on-screen with the simple call to action to TV viewers to Tweet who has “The X Factor.” Since a given judge needed to eliminate one of the four, they could use the instant feedback from the TV audience to take into consideration.
This is just the beginning of how Twitter is becoming the direct response mechanism for TV.
I wrote a piece for this month's The Social Media Monthly magazine about #TwitterTV that takes a fairly deep dive at how Twitter has transformed television and what it all means for brands.
The September issue is The Social Media Monthly's "Entertainment Issue" and has some really great content from Mike Brown, Mike Folgner, Matt Forthnow, Ruksana Hussain, Kelley Clements Keller, Marc Kohlbrugge, Kira Newman, Dave Sachse, Joy Schoffler, Cathy Scott, Lauri Stevens, and David Stubenvoll.