08 Aug 2011 Posted by Brian Spencer
Your TV set and your social profile are about to merge.
Adweek reported that social TV will change the way we watch TV and the way we connect with friends. With a click on the remote, your TV will share what you are watching with your Facebook friends. You’ll also see an on-screen listing of what they are watching. Discussions will take place on the TV screen so that you can laugh, cry, rate, and review programs in real time.
Consumers are already making a habit of sharing their media habits online. Social TV will just make it easier.
Here are the benefits for advertisers and networks:
Higher product integration value
Conversation leads to greater engagement. If I’m engaged in a program, then I’m less likely to miss details. Product integration becomes more valuable as friends discuss the outfits, the cars, and the music in the program.
Less channel surfing
Social TV makes it painful to change the channel if my friends are watching the same show. This returns value back to traditional commercial pods. It also gives networks an incentive to create buzz-worthy programs to keep friends watching together.
The DVR takes a back seat during real-time viewing. With social TV, any ordinary program can become a must-see appointment. If it becomes a habit with my friends to solve the murder together during CSI: Miami, then I will miss-out if I’m not watching in real time. This makes the DVR less of a threat to commercial ratings.
More brand chatter
The conversation doesn’t stop during commercial breaks. Expect users to comment and review every spot the same way that Super Bowl parties produce chatter about commercials. Marketers have an opportunity to identify brand enthusiasts and extend the conversation.
The next few years will see dozens of technology platforms fight to bring social TV into the mainstream. Marketers should be prepared to put their best foot forward during programs with lots of buzz, and nurture the brand conversations that social TV will produce.
08 Jun 2010 Posted by Brian Spencer
Swiss Army knives have everything you need. The problem is that none of those features actually work very well. Over the past 10 years, different versions of interactive TV have promised to be the Swiss Army knives of media. The dream is a single device to watch TV/movies, find a plumber, call a friend, download music, shop for shoes and read the news. Like the Swiss Army knife, interactive TV has failed to become a part of everyday life because single-function devices always perform better than multi-function devices.
Google is hoping to change everything with Google TV. Available this fall, Google TV will combine your online experience with traditional TV viewing. The distinct feature is a simple search bar that will live on your screen. This will allow you to find whatever content you want to watch, and to also participate in other online activities (shopping, social networks, etc.). In effect, Google is taking its very successful homepage to your TV set.
A key advantage for Google’s attempt at interactive TV is the shift in media consumption behavior as a result of wireless devices. The previously accepted truth was that TV sets are for “lean back” content and computers were for “lean forward” content. However, as Shelly Palmer noted in a recent commentary, “now, anyone will watch practically any length program on practically any device.”
Suddenly, the Swiss Army knife approach makes sense. Consumers have sacrificed the performance of single-function devices for the convenience of all-in-one tools. Mobile phones aren’t good at taking great pictures, but they are good enough for most occasions. The iPhone’s convenience as a multi-tool outweighs its bad performance as an actual phone. Maybe now our mindset about media has shifted enough that we are willing to accept a single device in our living room for both lean-forward and lean-back occasions?