Social TV, maybe you’ve heard of it… it’s the phenomenon where people discuss TV and TV shows with one another. Nothing new right? People have been talking about TV pretty much since it was first invented. That’s one of the reasons marketers love TV – people LOVE to watch. They love to talk about their shows, follow their favorite actors… we all pretty much love everything about TV.
Well, ‘the thing’ about Social TV is that it uses technologies like Twitter and Facebook (social networks) to facilitate discussion/conversation. Now you can share your thoughts and emotions about your favorite shows with people all over the world!
This is the current state of the art in social TV – you watch on your “big” screen, the TV, and you interact with other viewers and fans on a separate device like your cell phone, computer, or tablet device. Because your dealing with two devices, social TV is generally called a “second screen” experience. Many people are scrambling to “own” the second screen experience. They want to create the best… “whatever” that makes viewers (people like us) and the networks/show producers all flock to them and their second screen experiences.
If you think about it a little this makes perfect sense. We all sit and watch a show on the typically big, TV screen. When we see something noteworthy/exciting/whatever, we go to the screen that’s right in our hands (cell phone) or the really close-by tablet computer or laptop and say something about what we saw. The mechanics of the whole process just make sense. We’re trained from practically birth to watch the TV (passive) and interact with a computer-type device (active). This is the world as we now it… this is the world now.
Tomorrow is a different story though. Already there are “hit” shows popping up online. Youtube, Hulu, and a host of others are out there getting hundreds of thousands of people to watch. The TV industry itself is predicting that within five years there will be hit TV shows on television/cable, hit shows that are on TV and the Internet, and hit shows that exist only on the Internet! Imagine a show that you LOVE that you watch by going to a web site.
This is where I think social TV will really hit it’s stride. Why have separated experiences where the show and the audiences comments exist in a digital limbo? When the shows are online you can have the comment stream tied to a particular episode. Since the episodes can remain “live” indefinitely, the comment stream can grow and evolve as more people watch, read, and enjoy an experience like nothing they’ve witnessed before. Of course in this online world people can still passively watch a show. Interaction won’t be thrust upon them. But for those that do want to dip into the pool of fandom, the experience could be tied to individual scenes, even specific moments in the show. Producers might even take advantage of the power to communicate with their audiences. As a marketer, think of the value of knowing that an audience is not only watching but are actively engaged. How valuable would that be?
Right now we’re in the beginning, experimental stages of social TV. Many people and companies have wonderful ideas about how things will work. The exciting part is that it is all playing out in front of us and with the speed of Internet development today, it won’t be too long before someone brings the killer app and killer business model to market.
Oh what a fun ride this is going to be!
No Responses to “Social TV – The Next Frontier”
Jul 24th, 2011 :
So nice to meet another Choir member. It is indeed going to be a great ride.