Mark Silva from Anthem! provides an overview of the SocialTV ecosystem.
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Facebook today announced a partnership with UK-based social TV analytics company SecondSync. The two companies will work together to help marketers understand how people are using the social network to talk about topics such as TV.
The partnership is a big deal because it means Facebook’s social TV data will be made available outside the company for the first time. In two weeks, SecondSync plans to share initial results in a white paper titled “Watching with Friends” with a full analysis of how people are using Facebook to engage with TV.
The whitepaper will encompass “a range of programs” in the US, the UK, and Australia. It will also consider patterns by genre, by demographic, and by device, as well as how the social network is used before, during, and after the broadcast.
This naturally isn’t just a two-week agreement. Facebook is aiming for scaled delivery of its data through SecondSync later this year, starting with the US and the UK.
“TV-related discussion on Facebook is fascinating and something that all our clients are interested in understanding,” SecondSync Managing Director Andy Littledale said in a statement. “We’re very excited about this partnership and the opportunity to provide an additional perspective on social TV behaviour that draws on Facebook’s rich demographics and broad reach.”
Everyone is aware Facebook has a huge amount of data on its hundreds of millions of users, much of which contains useful information to businesses. The challenge, however, is to share this with companies willing to analyze it, without releasing information about the users themselves.
Facebook clearly believes it has solved the problem with its SecondSync partnership, at least when it comes to TV-related data. The discussions on the social network will be aggregated and anonymized to protect user privacy.
Video discovery service Shelby.TV has released a nifty infographic displaying the pros and cons of the top connected TV devices in the market, from the Apple TV to Roku and Google’s Chromecast.
Shelby.TV’s pick? Apple TV, which the startup likes because of its AirPlay capabilities, offering users a complete lean-back experience.
The company positions the infographic as a resource for those looking to buy a gift for the cord-cutter in their lives, and even makes recommendations on who each device is best suited for. While I’d agree that these devices are great for those who no longer want to pay for cable (a number that seems to be increasing by the minute), they’re also terrific options for pay-TV customers who simply want to be able to watch Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube on the biggest screen in the house.
Please visit the original source at http://bit.ly/1979Is7.
Tony Obregon's insight:
Personally, I'm rooting for Chromecast.
Only 98,600 people wrote messages on Twitter about the two-hour season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” last month. That’s a tiny fraction of the 9.3 million who, according to Nielsen, watched the show that night.
Two episodes of NBC’s “The Voice” ranked in the top 10, reaching 3.8 million and then 2.7 million accounts.
But the posts, 225,000 of them in total, were seen by millions of Twitter users, some of whom might have fired up their digital video recorders or laptops to watch the episode later.
Nielsen is now measuring what it calls the “unique audience” for Twitter posts about television, providing a more complete view of the phenomenon known as social TV. On Monday the company is introducing Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, a product announced last year that professes to measure all the activity and reach of Twitter conversation about shows, even if it has yet to be embraced by television executives and gain a broad client base.
“We feel this is going to be a credibility-building moment for the industry,” said Andrew Somosi, the chief executive of SocialGuide, an analytics company that Nielsen acquired last November, in part to create the new product.
Measures of posts about a TV show (“Can’t wait for ‘The Walking Dead’ to start”) are just the tip of Twitter’s iceberg, Mr. Somosi said in an interview: “The full iceberg is the extent to which people are seeing those tweets.” For example, the 225,000 posts about the Sept. 26 episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” were seen by 2.8 million distinct Twitter accounts, according to Nielsen’s algorithms.
Read the entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/business/media/nielsen-to-measure-twitter-chatter-about-tv.html?_r=0.
Look at your smartphone. Scroll way down in the apps. See those five social TV apps you never use, or maybe the one you do use and the four you haven’t opened in months? What happened to those guys, anyway?
“The packaging of social TV became less relevant as Twitter continued its ascendancy,” explained Geoff Katz, whose company Watchwith syndicates content from NBCUniversal and Fox across apps like Viggle, Shazam and NextGuide. “If I want to know what everyone is talking about, I don’t need to do anything but open up Twitter. I don’t need to go to Zeebox or IntoNow.” The social TV phenomenon, Katz said, recapitulates what always happens whenever several companies pounce on the Next Big Thing—bigger players stake the winners (or startups go public), ”and in the interim a lot of companies raise and lose a lot of money.”
Shazam, which has raised more than $40 million in capital and is bearing down on an IPO, is selling product integrations to TV advertisers, said chief product officer Daniel Danker. “There were a lot of companies doing something I liked to call manufacturing a consumer need,” he said. Still, Shazam is growing by 2.5 million users a week and working with publishers to integrate closely into the shows that fit its mandate—awards and competition shows are its bread and butter largely because people will always want to know the name of that song playing in the background.
Miso was acquired by (and subsumed into) Dijit, whose product NextGuide just trawls existing social media accounts for recommendations. Umami has gone dark. TVplus radically converted its product to a publishing tool.
NBCU has a stake in Zeebox, and evp of digital ad sales Scott Schiller said the media conglomerate sold upfront packages that included Zeebox integrations. Yet the buzz-light Zeebox doesn’t show up in the top 300 entertainment apps in Apple’s store and is ranked No. 370 by analytics firm AppData.
Lately, NBCU’s app strategy is more focused on show-by-show deep transmedia integrations. “The latest of those is the Million Second Quiz app, which did exactly what we thought it would,” Schiller said. (Released in advance of the NBC quiz show’s Sept. 9 premiere, the app has already generated 5 million answered questions.)
And when it comes to more basic co-viewing, networks are predictably agnostic. “I don’t care where people engage with our content as long as I can be the curator of that conversation,” said Alexandra Shapiro, evp of marketing and digital for USA Network, which programs second-screen content for its original series. “This is a change in strategy—two years ago I would have said you have to drive people back to the mother ship; desktop, mobile, tablet, wherever it’s supposed to live. Now I feel like it’s wherever the user wants it.”
Tony Obregon's insight:
The only problem with Twitter killing these apps is that TV viewing is time-shifted whereas Twitter is real-time. It doesn't work for all TV.
In what looks like a typical acqui-hire, Apple recently scooped up the team and assets of Matcha.tv, a social TV startup that shut down in May. The deal, which was first reported by VentureBeat, is more proof of consolidation in the social TV space, but it also goes to show that Apple is serious about TV.
Matcha.tv created an iPad app to discover movies and TV show episodes on Netflix, iTunes and Amazon, using data from social networks to recommend new titles to watch. The service shut down in May, with a message posted on theMatcha.tv website informing users that all of their data had been deleted.
Matcha isn’t the only one to try and fail in the social TV space:
Screentribe, Twelevision, Otherscreen, BeeTV, Philo and a bunch of others all threw the towel over the last year or so. That’s in part because one can only have so many Facebook-connected TV guides, but in part also because a companion app really can’t solve the fundamental problems of TV, including those exploding pay TV costs that consumers are increasingly unwilling to pay.
That’s where Apple could come in. The company is rumored to be in talks to provide an online-only pay TV service, which presumably would look very different from traditional cable. It’s unclear how advanced these talks are, and whether or not they’d be tied to a long-rumored revamp of the company’s Apple TV product – but acqui-hires like this one could help Apple to staff up for whatever it is working on.
It's widely accepted that we don't just sit and watch television anymore – we actively participate and comment on what we're watching through smartphones and connected devices. As a result, 'social TV viewing' and 'second-screening' has lead to new commercial models for media owners and new channels for advertisers to reach consumers.
Here's an overview of the key points raised in the live discussion on this topic, involving fifteen experts in this emerging industry.
One of the first issues to be raised was the issue of commercial models – where is the commercial value in developing this technology and functionality around TV content?
Futurescape.TV's Colin Donald cited two approaches being taken by broadcasters when it comes to social TV. The first is to aggregate social activity about their shows and get people to see it on their website and get web ad revenue – as used by Discovery and CBS. Secondly, by developing their own social TV apps, and syndicating their content across third-party apps – a model used by Fox.
Appmarket.tv's Richard Kastelein gave a broader overview of two opportunities for the commercialisation of social TV for broadcasters:
1) Bringing the brands into the second screen to engage with viewers in unique new ways including gamification, transmedia storytelling and branded content.
2) Through direct commerce and the ability to 'buy what you see' on screen via temporal metadata created either by technology or by creating metadata during the pre-production process.
He argues that social TV gives media owners the chance to emulate the best of the music industry:
Right now a large percentage of money being made in the music industry comes from three things. Live performances, VIP experiences and merchandising. Broadcasters will always be able to stuff 30 second spots into the World Cup or Super Bowl, but where's the merchandising? Where's the VIP experience? I believe the second screen app experience for the Oscars in the USA last year included exclusive red carpet scenes and behind the stage extras. There's certainly things to be learnt from the music industry.
Broadcasters have embraced social media with a passion and are doing an excellent job, according to Thinkbox's Simon Tunstill:
Shows are commissioned with social media elements included in the format (like Million Pound Drop); new ad opportunities are emerging, such as ITV's Ad Sync which enables an advertiser to launch a second screen takeover when its TV ad is broadcast; Channel 4 has recently launched 4Now, a dedicated second screen app for its content; Sky has invested in Zeebox; and all broadcasters utilise social media channels to promote shows and encourage interaction in a very cost effective and agile way.
Squawka CEO Sanjit Atwal said it was important to invest in ad technology to make the commercial potential of second screening a reality, sharing an example from their own platform: "We have built our own ad sever and can trigger a brand message depending on the event on the football pitch. For example, if Rooney scores, brand X can show the boot he's wearing and where you can buy it from).
Read the entire article at http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2013/aug/09/social-tv-second-screening-money
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo today hinted at several upcoming features for the social media platform, including plans to address cyberbullying and better ways to filter the “signal from the noise” during live events, including something he referred to as a “DVR mode” for Twitter. These comments were made during a moderated panel this morning at the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings.
On the subject of cyberbullying, Costolo spoke of ongoing experiments with technological solutions that would better filter out “egregious, obvious harassment,” noting that the challenge facing the company is in finding a scalable solution to that problem. Twitter today has more than 200 million active users every month, and the addition of celebrities, athletes, politicians and others the CEO dubbed “VIT’s” — “very important tweeters” — dramatically increase the usage of Twitter.
But even though the public nature of Twitter’s platform alleviates some of the potential for cyber bullying, Twitter also allows users to be anonymous, which can be a problem at times. On the one hand, anonymity makes it possible for people to express political commentary, but on the other, Costolo admitted it could also allow for trolling.
Twitter has to do a better job on the “Connect” stream to clean up the abusive, repeat and trolling posts, he said.
The CEO also talked about the challenge Twitter faces during live events. Early adopters will remember, of course, that the biggest problem used to be simply keeping Twitter online. It had once seemed like every time Steve Jobs took the stage to speak, Twitter would crash and display the infamous “fail whale” message indicating the service was down.
These days, the problem is no longer about stability, but making sense of all the data that flows in real-time.
“That ability to track and monitor the moments within an event, either as they happen or to catch up with them, is something we want to enhance,” said Costolo. “We want to make that experience even better, curating the moments within the event, the media from it, and making it that much easier to navigate.”
Costolo talked about how Twitter had tried, during the last Olympics, to curate and highlight tweets from athletes and news commenters, for example, but found that solution lacking. “The amazing thing about that was that you lost the roar of the crowd,” he said. Twitter no longer felt like the town square it aspires to be, but became more of an aggregator. That’s something which, later in the talk, Costolo explained is not Twitter’s role.
“We’re not in the business of synthesizing and analyzing,” he said of the data on Twitter. “It’s the journalists and the news organizations in the world who will take all this info and analyze and curate it as they’ve always done,” he explained.
To address the signal from the noise problem, Twitter is experimenting with a new live events tool that aims to keep that “roar of the crowd,” while still highlighting the key moments. Right now, keeping track of live events on Twitter is very basic — you’re essentially just following the tweets in reverse chronological order, the CEO explained.
“It would be nice to see things like a graphic of spikes in the conversation, what timed they happened…and be able to scroll back to that time to see what happened at that particular moment,” he said. And for planned events, like televised events, Costolo added that Twitter would like to offer that same functionality to users, even if they’re watching the event on a delayed basis. He described this as being able to “follow along with Twitter in a DVR mode.”
Tony Obregon's insight:
I am hoping that the DVR mode allows users in a different time zone to not see tweets about a televised show that hasn't been broadcast in their region yet.
Facebook released the hashtag feature to make live TV interaction easier, Twitter announced Twitter Amplify, and Nielsen reports that social TV use is growing.
Nielsen released a report today showing that second screen usage is increasing among mobile device users, and this is partly responsible for the increase in social TV popularity. Though the Nielsen report conflicts with an earlier Council of Research Excellence (CRE) study that says social media usage has little effect on viewers' decisions, the conflict didn't stop Facebook from following Twitter's social TV lead when Facebook rolled out the hashtag feature last week. Twitter has an obvious lead over Facebook, and the Nielsen numbers back up that fact.
Twitter led the way to social TV as early as May 2012, when the company announced its partnership with ESPN, providing the popular sports network with its now renamed Twitter Amplify sponsorship program that features videos. Twitter launched #Twitter4Brands later the same month at Internet Week New York 2012.
Twitter also recently launched a social TV first - the company’s interactive advertising that allows advertisers to promote tweets based on ads that Twitter users have seen on television, a Lost Remote report states. Twitter reported in an announcement last month that Bluefin Labs found that “95 percent of live TV conversation happens on Twitter,” while a little over 50 percent of commercials aired during the Super Bowl contained hashtags. Twitter also states that “you can’t turn on the news without hearing a Tweet referenced.”
In fact, MSNB routinely interacts with viewers via Twitter. White House correspondent Chuck Todd of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown poses a question on the show to viewers. The first viewer to answer correctly via Twitter receives a “follow back” from the show. Other shows and channels such as SyFy's Face Off, hosted by McKenzie Westmore, and Animal Planet's River Monsters, hosted by Jeremy Wade, routinely utilize Twitter during air time as well. Both shows offer extra content to viewers using Twitter and mobile devices, some of which includes behind the scenes clips and interviews with the hosts.
A patent application filed in 2011 has revealed that Microsoft may plan on bringing achievements to TV watching — including use of its Kinect camera system to monitor the behavior of TV viewers. As an application, the patent doesn't provide any definitive evidence that Microsoft plans to bring TV achievements or viewer monitoring to the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One, but it's an example of where the company's thinking could be headed as it expands its focus on the living room television experience.
Microsoft has already used Kinect to let viewers interact with ads; the company unveiled its NUads program more than a year ago, which is designed to use the sensor to let users share ads on social networks or control other aspects of advertisements. Responding to privacy concerns over NUads, Microsoft told The Verge that it has "strict policies in place that prohibit the collection, storage, or use of Kinect data for the purpose of advertising."
In the application, Microsoft notes that "traditional television viewing experiences tend to be passive and do not frequently provide opportunities for a viewer to engage with programming." Microsoft presumably thinks that adding achievements for TV watching is a way to increase engagement — specifically mentioning the value this could provide for advertisers. "To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content," Microsoft writes.
Producers, distributors, and advertisers of the video content may set viewing goals and award a viewer who has reached the goals," the application notes. Those awards could include anything from digital gifts, like a score or some flair for your avatar, or promotional rewards from third-parties, like coupons or products.
Read the entire article at http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/27/4370676/microsoft-kinect-tv-monitoring-achievements-ads.
Tony Obregon's insight:
This could be the lynchpin in merging true gamification with TV viewing in a very natural way.
Twitter announced Twitter Amplify this morning, the official name of its program to partner with video creators to embed video directly into the company's social stream. Knowing that a name simply isn't enough to get our blood pumping, the company also revealed a variety of new content partners to bolster its already strong relationships with the NBA and ESPN: A&E, Bloomberg TV, Major League Baseball, and Warner Music are just a few of the many new partners signed up for Twitter Amplify. And yes, we should all expect more Amplify partner announcements in the coming months, as Twitter's actively seeking said partnerships. A video is worth a whole lot more than 140 characters, eh?
Tony Obregon's insight:
Between these TV partners and the addition of Vine, Twitter seems to be moving rather quickly to capitalize on video content. It will be interesting to see how it evolves into a more video-centric network.
NBC is giving the public more than just a new slate of programming. There are prizes to be had, too.
The network said Sunday that it's holding a Twitter-based sweepstakes linked to its fall schedule presentation to advertisers - a social-media twist on the annual TV rite occurring this week.
One of the prizes is a trip to Los Angeles to attend a final taping of Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." The other is a New York visit to see one of the first tapings of the relocated "Tonight" with new host Jimmy Fallon.
The contest opens Monday, when the network announces its lineup, and it runs through June 13. Fans can enter by following NBC's Twitter accounts of its upcoming schedule, which will include a new Sean Hayes sitcom.
With the growing popularity of social media, TV has become increasingly social. People now communicate and interact extensively about TV content on social media, especially via Twitter and Facebook.
Even Nielsen, the U.S. media measurement and analysis company, launched a new Twitter TV Rating this past December, essentially validating Twitteras its own measure of television program popularity. This March, their studyshowed that heavy tweeting about a show really does predict popularity; among 18 to 34 year olds, an 8.5% increase in tweets corresponds to a 1% increase in a show's TV ratings for premiere episodes, while a 4.2% increase in tweets predicts the same ratings boost for midseason episodes.
It's not just Silcon Valley's social network giants that are innovating to merge traditional media with social interaction. In the Middle East, startups are surfing 3 major trends.
To read the entire article, go to http://www.wamda.com/2013/04/tv-goes-social-in-the-arab-world-3-trends. ;
Mike Proulx, the guy who wrote the book on social tv -- explains what's changed lately in a conversation with Simon Dumenco.
In February of last year, Mike Proulx and his co-author Stacey Shepatin published the book "Social TV: How Marketers Can Reach and Engage Audiences by Connecting Television to the Web, Social Media, and Mobile." As senior VP and director of digital strategy at Hill Holliday, Mr. Proulx knows what he's talking about -- and, in just a few weeks, he and a few hundred other social-TV obsessives will talk even more about where the industry is headed. The third edition of Hill Holliday's annual TVnext Summit, an event Mr. Proulx created, is coming up on April 29 in Boston.
As the event approaches, Ad Age's Media Guy Simon Dumenco spoke with Mr. Proulx as part of the ongoing Dumenco's Media Peopleseries of in-depth interviews. What follows is an edited version of a longer conversation.
Simon Dumenco: Talk to me about what's changed in the social-TV space since the publication of your book -- other than everything.
Mike Proulx: The biggest change we predicted was that consolidation was going to be the theme for 2013, and that certainly has come true. In Chapter 5 in the book, we talked a lot about the social-TV analytic space, and since the release of the book Nielsen bought SocialGuide, and Twitter bought Bluefin Labs, so that leaves an interesting landscape where you have Trendrr as really the only independent social-TV analytics company now.
Dumenco: I have to say that I was surprised how quickly Bluefin sort of disappeared into Twitter's maw. After the acquisition, Bluefin employees almost immediately got Twitter email addresses and now they're essentially just part of the marketing department of Twitter -- because the ex-Bluefinners' jobs now involve proving the efficacy of Twitter, basically.
Read the entitre article at http://adage.com/article/trending-topics/q-a-real-state-social-tv/240799/
It announced the Roku TV today, which is touted as being much more straightforward than other smart TVs on the market — as the company which built itself on streaming devices brings all these technologies together into just one (huge) gadget, eliminating the need for any dongles.
Instead of several layers and menus, the Roku TV gets a home screen that brings together all sources of content. It will only have 20 remote-controlled buttons — that’s half the number that traditional TVs have. Furthermore, the Roku TV can be controlled via mobile devices by using the Roku iOS or Android app.
Read the full article at http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2014/01/06/set-top-box-maker-roku-announces-its-first-smart-tv-coming-to-stores-this-fall/?utm_source=Twitter&uid=a87931baf2af012cb848bf0710748f338fedbc46&awesm=tnw.to_tToh&utm_medium=Spreadus&utm_campaign=social%20media#!rss2x.
As we wrap up 2013, it looks like social TV is being pushed to its tipping point. Not only are we starting to find hard evidence proving the powerful return on investment of second-screen and social TV, we're seeing real-time insights into what viewers are actually watching. Let's take a quick look back at some key moments in 2013 and see if we can divine what 2014 will have in store.
Prediction 1: Big boys grabbing all the toys. Throughout 2013, we've had flurries of mergers, acquisitions and partnerships in social TV. Over the last few weeks, it's become a blizzard. With increased validation by multichannel video programming distributors, the market is finally showing signs of maturation.
GetGlue was acquired by i.TV in November. Then i.TV, whose platform enables content discovery for AOL, Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly, received funding from DirecTV earlier this month.
Other TV resource apps are wooing users -- and video programming distributors -- through cooperation. Individually, the apps offer cool features, but when bundled, they become game-changers like NextGuide, which offers engaging second-screen mashups, data and utility.NextGuide is working with companies including DirecTV, Dish, Comcast and Fox.
As the cable and satellite companies try to woo back the cord-cutters -- people who used to subscribe to a multichannel service like Time Warner Cable or AT&T but now watch shows and movies online or through services like Apple TV and Netflix -- we'll see major players continue with increased investment in and adoption of second-screen technologies in 2014. With that, consumers will have more access to great content and utility across all screens as the living room becomes a unified-screen experience. New tablets bundled into a premium-cable package upgrade or cable-subscription sign-up will be the norm.
Prediction 2: Big insight leads to big action. The biggest news this month has been Apple's acquisition of Topsy, immediately followed by DataSift's $42-million funding announcement. Both companies, social-analytics firms, collect and analyze thousands of pieces of social content every minute. While Apple's plans for Topsy are unclear, there's no denying the invaluable proof that social analytics can provide
In 2014, Big Data will lead to Big Insights and Big Action. We'll see new benchmarks and key performance indicators emerge. Expect to see a cost per touchpoint/tune-in, or CPT, a flexible metric that will measure physical engagement on touch screens. We will finally find a metric that proves both digital and social activity attribution and direct causation to tune-in. With powerhouse Comcast teaming with Twitter to roll out See It, a Comcast platform that connects Twitter conversations and promotions around content to the actual viewership of TV shows, movies and sports, we can see the CPT right around the corner.
Prediction 3: Power to the people. We will start to see content influenced by real-time social data and insights, which condense the research process into minutes, not weeks. We've seen the beginnings of this already with fan- voted endings and live audience voting.
Read the full article at http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/social-tv-heading-2014/245706/. ;
TV3 announced a few months ago that they would be launching a viewing companion app called ShowPal and now the launch is nearly upon us as it will be available in the App store from October 17th. The aim of Showpal is to revolutionise the way we view TV – although only available on TV3 at the moment Showpal will offer the viewer a world of new interactive features, truly bringing dual screening to life. But how does it work?
ShowPal will work much like Blippar does with images however the tags will not be visual but audio tags. These will be inserted into prime time airtime on TV3 and once the app picks up the tag, pieces of information will start to stream through your iPad or iPhone screen. Sound tags can be included on both programming and advertising. Information on the screen of the app can be related to the programming or can trigger off advertising that relates to a segment in the show. For example, if Xpose were to run a fashion feature for a particular retailer, the information that comes up on the ShowPal screen can be advertising for that particular retailer, even with the option to buy the product should there be an e-commerce facility available through the retailer.
When looking at ads that can be tagged, an additional message can appear on the screen to give more detail on the product being advertised or even encourage a sale through the advertisers website.
For the consumer, this allows them a more comprehensive viewing experience, with details on elements of shows, celebrities on shows and even Wikipedia feeds coming through on documentaries. It allows them to access additional information on topics without having to search the web. There is even a twitter feed on the left hand side of the app for viewers to follow the #tag conversation about the show without having to open their Twitter app.
For advertisers, it allows them to deliver more information into the consumers hands, be more interactive with consumers by talking to them directly on their app at the same time their ad is playing on TV. It also allows advertisers to drive sales through direct links to sale or enquiry straight into the consumers hand, without waiting for them to take action on what they have seen on screen.
Dual screening is becoming more and more prominent in the household – consumers browse various sites looking for information while watching TV, while advertisers are looking for better ways to engage consumers, this new app is a win win for both sides.
If Twitter’s acquisition of Bluefin Labs six months ago reflected its “commitment to the social TV market,” then today’s announcement that it boughtTrendrr reflects its efforts to dominate the social TV space outright. Trendrr CEO Mark Ghuneim announced the acquisition: “We are excited to be joining Twitter’s world class team, enabling us to realize bigger opportunities that drive better experiences for users, media and marketers – across Twitter and around the globe,” he said in ablog post.
Trendrr’s specialty is social TV analytics, but the company’s Curatorr product — which recently joined Twitter’s certified products program — enables companies to curate and display custom Twitter experiences. “(We) will work with media companies, marketers, and display ecosystem partners to create compelling user experiences – continuing to pursue our initial charter of focusing on the real-time aspects of TV and media,” Ghunheim said.
This will enable Twitter to offer more comprehensive solutions for brands and media partners, tied into its own analytics and advertising products. Trendrr said it would continue to honor partner contracts for Trendrr.TV, but it does not plan to bring on any new clients moving forward.
Trendrr won’t be working with Facebook anymore, either. Last month, Trendrr announced that it had partnered with Facebook to examine previously unreleased data, which revealed that Facebook has five times more social TV activity than Twitter. That sparked some speculation that Facebook may scoop up Trendrr to help it justify its social TV impact and tap into TV ad dollars.
But with Facebook trying to elbow its way into the social TV game, Twitter is doubling down again. Trendrr and Bluefin Labs were among the most talked-about social TV startups, and SocialGuide — which was swept up by Nielsen — is working with Twitter on the new Twitter rating.
“Our success has been a tireless team effort involving innovative people and amazing clients pushing us to excellence,” Ghunheim says in his blog post. “Respect to everyone who helped us navigate this journey and provided guidance and support – we could not have gotten here without you – and to our friends in the fourth estate not just in reporting on an important trend but being publishing partners around something important, something exciting, something transformative taking place for us all.”
CNN is planning a major site relaunch for this Fall, and it is putting social sharing at the heart of the new experience. TVNewser has details on what is coming in November here, but we wanted to highlight CNN’s plans for social media on the site.
CNN senior VP of digital KC Estenson acknowledged that while CNN has more traffic than many other news sites, its social sharing is much lower than outlets like The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. The new site is designed to change that.
“There will be much heavier calls to action to engage with the content,” Estenson says, adding that the relationship goes both ways. “Social is informing editorial.”
CNN is also planning to automate meme-tracking, letting editorial staff tweak stories, headlines or tags to better serve what people are talking about online. As an example he used the recent PGA Championship victory from golfer Jason Dufner... who also his his own meme, “Dufnering.”
“The way we would traditionally publish that is ‘Jason Dufner Wins PGA Championship,’” Estenson says. “That is a classic CNN headline, and that is un-retweetable basically, that story is instant commodity.
“But the ‘Dufnering’ meme takes off like wildfire,” he added. “Right now that is all human beings, we can do that algorithmically, we can search for memes, we can find the topics that are starting to rend in social media.”
Ultimately, the goal is to create a personalized news experience that TV can never deliver. Using an example of Hurricane Sandy, Estenson said that in the future users can select a “Sandy” tag and have the latest news appear as a notification in iOS, or in an email, or on social media.
“The grand vision here is that at some point we can dynamically publish the site for the individual,” Estenson says. “We are heading toward a world with more personalization, this is your CNN.”
Making TVs smart is a three-part series that looks at why smart TVs have failed to take off — and what needs to happen for these devices to realize their vast potential. You can read part one here and part two here.
When Google TV debuted back in 2010, it represented a radical take on smart TVs. Google wanted to combine live TV with internet content, and offer viewers a seamless way to switch from an ABC broadcast to a Netflix stream. The first generation of Google TV devices failed for a variety of reasons.
But all many people remember are those crazy remote controls.
That’s a lot of buttons: Sony’s first-generation Google TV remote control.
Logitech’s Revue companion box shipped with a full-size QWERTY keyboard better suited for an office desk than a living-room couch, and Sony’s Google TV devices introduced a monster of a remote control that had no fewer than 80 buttons.
Google has learned from these mistakes and, along with a number of other companies, is trying to rethink how people interact with their TVs. Keeping this kind of interaction simple as TVs get smarter turns out to be a big challenge. Cracking this nut could open the door to a whole new range of applications, which is one of the keys to getting users excited and finally turning smart TVs into a success story.
Changing the channel without knowing the number
Google’s initial decision to make Google TV devices with a full QUERTY keyboard was prompted by a problem anyone who has ever tried a streaming box like Apple TV or Roku knows well: Search, or even entering account credentials, is a royal pain.
Most streaming boxes come with remote controls that are built around a so-called D-Pad — buttons to navigate up, down, left and right. To search, devices use on-screen keyboards, leaving users with the slow, frustrating task of manually jumping from one letter to the next to type.
Read the full article at http://gigaom.com/2013/08/02/making-tvs-smart-part-3/
Tony Obregon's insight:
I think it's brilliant to focus on evolving the remote control to make TV smarter and more social.
With its popularity on the rise, could 2013 be the year that Social TV really takes off into the mainstream? A new partnership between Viacom and Twitter could further that progress along. As CNET describes: “Twitter has signed a deal to begin delivering social video ads built around Viacom’s most popular TV shows.”
And as it’s summer now, which means awards season for Viacom, the timing for this deal seems perfect. Expectations will be high regarding the Viacom’s social TV performance, as it often is based on the network’s track record of success and innovation. Specifically with its MTV Video Music Awards, which tend to dominate social conversation the day its live. And it also owns BET, whose annual awards show surpassed the Academy awards in social viewing last year.
Viacom has always been one of the smarter media 2.0 companies and have carved themselves out as a leader in social TV, including this study.
Viacom’s summer awards shows have been used as platforms to pioneer all manner of interesting second screen experiments. “The VMAs are known for creating global, watershed moments in pop culture,” MTV President Stephen Friedman toldAdAge’s Simon Dumenco in 2012. “Knowing that our fans are watching the show on television while actively discussing and sharing key moments on social, we’ve created a multiplatform digital ecosystem for those moments to be amplified in real time.”
This brings us to Twitter. In the social network’s own words: “95% of live TV conversation currently happens on Twitter.” Viacom and Twitter are a particularly smart social media fit. In the last few months, in the run-up to their IPO, Twitter has been on something of a tear. In April it achieved a milestone – its biggest ad deal yet, with Publicis’s Starcom Media West Group – as well as making video ad deals with BBC America, Fox and now Viacom.
Tony Obregon's insight:
I have to say that it's all about the hashtag - that's a big driver in getting people to associate TV with social media.
Research has shown that TV-watching and social media usage isn't mutually exclusive. Consumers appear to love using social media while they watch TV. Many discuss what they're watching, and these conversations continue long after air-time, with TV-linked chatter accounting for a significant percentage of overall social media activity.
TV industry players and TV-focused marketers realized they could piggyback on this new consumer habit. The idea was not to compete with social media, but to use it so that televised shows, events, and ad campaigns won more audience and audience participation.
Social TV is how these ideas are being made tangible.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we define what social TV is, analyze the most important social TV trends, examine the audience for social TV, detail how social TV is forcing broadcasters and advertisers to rethink their strategies, and look at how data vendors are slicing and dicing all that TV-linked social chatter.
Via heidi groshelle
While most companies are making the jump from Web to mobile, NextGuide, the app that tells you when and where your favorite shows are on, has decided to go the opposite way. The social TV guide for iOS is now available on the Web.
NextGuide Web has the same functions as the iPad app and aims to bring together live TV and streaming videos. Users can pick their favorite shows and keep track of when, and where, the shows are available online or on TV.
"There's a lot of confusion around TV," said Jeremy Toeman, the CEO of Dijit Media, the company behind NextGuide. "People say TV is dead, but there are more people watching more stuff on demand and streaming than they used to."
The key is discovery, Toeman said, and when it comes to looking for entertainment on a second screen, viewers are still turning to their Web browser the most.
Dijit is definitely familiar with the TV space on mobile. In addition to the NextGuide apps, the company previously launched Dijit Remote, a universal remote app linked to an infared remote control accessory, and Miso, a social TV app that let users log what they were watching for points.
Read the entire article at http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57585296-93/social-tv-app-nextguide-goes-from-mobile-to-the-web/.
If you’re looking for the latest video clips from your favorite sports, you might soon find them on Twitter. The social media company has solidified a deal with ESPN that will let users check out the action via Twitter video clips.
Lisa Hsia, executive vice-president of Bravo Digital Media at NBCUniversal, gives us five predictions for the Social TV industry over the next few years.
Lisa will be speaking at the TV:Xperience event taking place in New York City on July 15th-17th. For more information and to register, please visit www.tvxperienceevent.com.
Social TV will no longer be seen as a branch of the existing TV experience. Social TV will be equivalent to watching TV. The second screen, sharing with others as you watch, interactivity – the “social” part of TV will all be part and parcel of the regular TV experience.
Social TV will also be available “on demand”. It won’t matter if you’re watching live or days later – you will be able to see content and what your friends and other influencers were saying as an ongoing thread between and during episodes.
And you’ll be able to sign up to follow celebrities and see what they’re saying so co-viewing with friends or people you aspire to be friendly with will be part of the experience.
Transmedia storytelling will be a part of the social TV experience. Multi-platform storytelling will be commonplace, as will fan content co-creation based on the TV watching experience. You’ll be able to enjoy programmes as standalones, or branch off to go deeper into specific storylines created by the producers… or fans.
Social TV may even become a new way to inform the development of new shows as data analysis tools become more sophisticated. Imagine the new formats – crowd-sourced formats, new kinds of show creative, a much more personalised viewing experience.
The dream of buying Jennifer Aniston’s sweater from Friends will be a reality. Shopping and sharing with friends what you’re shopping for will be easy and frictionless.
Social TV will allow for a totally new way to market shows. The old ways of promoting a show – out of home billboards, expensive promotional ad buys – will be gone and replace by much more social and targeted opportunities since data will allow for much more focused targeting of audiences.
Twitter is close to securing a partnership deal with two major television networks to bring high-quality video content and advertising to the micro-blogging social platform, says Bloomberg, citing sources that are familiar with the matter.
Twitter has been holding talks with Viacom and Comcast Corp’s NBC Universal, seeking to add more entertainment and news video which would stream within tweets directly on Twitter.
These deals could be reached by mid-May, with the resulting ad revenue split between Twitter and the networks.
Twitter, which already has existing agreements with ESPN and the Weather Channel, as well as aunique relationship with Nielsen, acquired Bluefin Labs, the social analytics company that tracks what consumers say about the shows and commercials they watch on TV and shares that data with marketers, agencies and TV networks, back in February.
These new deals are expected to further Twitter’s fairly aggressive push into social TV, following a very successful partnership with NBC during last year’s London Olympics.
Tony Obregon's insight:
Could Twitter become a destination for TV entertainment?