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- FP column – philanthropy
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- To you, I’m fluff
- When you hear layoff rumours…
Social TV and the second screen
This week's Scribble Chat will focus on how traditional broadcasters are embracing digital tools to give their audience a more immersive, interactive experience of television. Our panelist are from broadcasting giants CNN (USA) and ARD (Germany).
Don't know what we mean by social TV, here are a couple of videos that should give you an idea:
Social TV vs Second Screen, Wikipedia weighs in:
Social televisionSocial television is a general term for technology that supports ... in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content. ... via WikipediaWikipediavia Wikipedia at 12:44 PM
Second screenSecondscreen refers to the use of an additional electronic device (e.g. tablet, smartphone or the computer ) by individuals who are ... via WikipediaWikipediavia Wikipedia at 12:44 PM
Here are some interesting snippets from a Guardian article published last year dissecting various studies carried out in 2012 around second screen and social TV:
Somewhere between 75% and 85% of TV viewers use other devices while watching, although a lot of these people are doing unrelated tasks
This survey of more than 2,000 British smartphone, tablet and laptop owners claimed that 86% have used one of these devices while watching TV
The topline figure: 75% of Brits watch TV with a second device to hand. What are they doing? 65% are surfing the web, 60% are emailing and 48% are using social networks.
Ericsson's study of TV and video habits was based on its ConsumerLab research program, which involves interviewing 100,000 people a year in 40 countries.
Its key finding was that 62% of people use social media while watching TV – 18 percentage points more than 2011's finding. 40% of them are discussing what they're currently watching on social networks.Quite a lot of stats and figures, but what do they actually say? Well it seems like a huge proportion of people watch TV with a mobile device to hand but most of them are doing unrelated things such as emailing or shopping.The challenge for broadcasters? To increase that percentage and get the audience engaging with other fans on their own site.
So, those were some stats from last year but as we know, things move very quickly in this industry. Nielsen released a study this year dramatically titled 'Action figures: how second screens are transforming TV viewing'. The telecommunications giant found that:
nearly half of smartphone owners (46%) and tablet owners (43%) said they use their devices as second screens while watching TV every day. And more than two-thirds of tablet and smartphone owners said they used these second screens multiple times a week during Q1 2013.In 2013 most people are still using their second screens for unrelated activities but a not insignificant chunk are directly engaging with the television program:
More than half of smartphone and tablet owners visited a social networking site while watching TV, and at least one-fifth spent time reading social media discussions about the program they were viewing. Many more tablet owners than smartphone owners used their second screens to interact with the show (13%) or to post about it (13%). Some multi-screen users even said they watched a program because of something they read in social media; about 15 percent of tablet users responded this way.
Screens, screens everywhere! This is what Instagram comes up with for #socialtv:Another #socialtv event with our wonderful discovery digital team #futbol360 #samsungby dothemax on 2:23 AM#socialtv #samsung molto #socialporn per chi twitta un sacco guardando la tv #sbavoby napolux on November 3 at 11:39 AM#socialTV applied on #TopChef. Hashtag + web poll during live airing + realtime results. I wonder if local channels can take advantage of this since WE are the #socialmediacapital of the world.by thomasmmm on November 5 at 11:25 PMTaas on se aika viikosta. #Leijonat-lähetys LIVEnä ja pian #IdolsSuomi. Myöhemmin vielä #ELCrew.
#uusiMTV #SocialTVby themartti on November 7 at 5:18 PMDirect from connected and #socialTV formation.. Kind of like #googleby lorenzovanin on November 8 at 3:08 PM100% connecté pendant les répétitions sur le plateau de #DALS ! #TF1 #SocialTVby louismetivet on November 10 at 10:02 AMPreviousNext
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We've got a question from a reader now about how to get viewers used to social TV
Did your readers need to be convinced to take up social TV? Or did they naturally adopt it?MilesJKenyonat 2:22 PMIs is difficult to grow a community or does it just happen naturally?
For people curious about Tatort!
I've got another question from a reader - an avid TV fan it seems...
How seriously to TV execs take socialTV these days:
Where do networks see the value in second screen and social media? And how are they making money off of it? Disney-ABC seems to be "King of Twitter" with their ABCF hit Pretty Little Liars and ABC's Scandal. They're constantly touting things like, "Pretty Little Liars is the most tweeted show ever with 1.9 million tweets", or aggressively promoting hashtags like #AskScandal wherever they can (in print ads, on-air, ABC.com, their social platforms). But what does 1.9 million tweets really mean for them - is the goal higher ratings, digital ad sales, both, or something else entirely?Cassie Gillat 4:58 PM
Are the success of socialTV important for CNN and ARD or are they not taken particularly seriously?
I think Carri can shed some light on this too...
Twitter and Nielsen are both VERY interested in showing how and if tweets drive ratings. They both bought social TV analytics companies (Twitter bought two!). Thus far, they have been able to demonstrate mostly correlation, not causation, but we're in VERY EARLY days of this stuff.
I guess SocialTV as we use it for the moment is only a step on the way TV/Media-development takes heading future. We want to be part of this development and also be part of those who are creating the future of television
For now, networks are mostly using social TV as a way to create a stickier relationship with viewers (that seems to be the number one benefit so far) and to market their shows (number two benefit). But I'd expect those to be flipped as more people get plugged into social TV events and tweets.
So Carri, do you get the impression that TV execs are willing to experiment a little with socialtv without necessarily seeing any direct return at the moment?
Yes, networks definitely see the benefit—finally. They were all slow to start but are picking up stream.
The most popular social TV shows are unscripted—reality shows, contests shows (like "The Voice" or #DWTS) and sports.
The holy grail of social TV (for many, including networks who sell advertising) will be enabling easy commerce of products within shows. It could be a dress that a character is wearing in the show, for example.
Networks have been trying to crack the code of real-time sales while people are watching a show for over a decade. At social TV conferences, eventually the conversation always turns to "Jennifer Aniston's dress" because networks have been wanting to do this since "Friends" was on the air.
This is related to Cassie's question below:
One of the further values is to get the user connected with us: with the networks, the content creators or the actors. This is more than simply watching TV, this is participating on an event.
people live-tweeting shows are actually less engaged - too focused on the social conversation vs. what's actually happening on-screen.Is that something that broadcaster's could be worrying about?
As they're thinking more about Amy Poehler's dress for example
I don't think broadcasters should be worried about people being less engaged with shows. People have ALWAYS multi-tasked while watching TV (kitchen, bathroom, conversations, Web surfing), but it just wasn't possible to track it. If people are interested on what's on the screen, they'll pay attention. If they're not, they won't.
That's a very good point Carri
young user and the one who are used to online-consuming are used to pay attention on several terms. watching TV and surfing the internet is quite normal to young people. We should not worry about it but profit from it.
Additionally, MANY people have DVRs these days that let them pause live TV and then catch up during the commercials. That's what I do when I'm live-tweeting a show. Of course, that doesn't bode well for watching commercials, but that's related to DVR usage, not so much social media.
That's an excellent segue Carri - we've had a couple of questions come in about that so it would be great to hear your thoughts:
How do you create content that still appears to readers after the live viewing, i.e. for viewers watching on DVR?danalaceyat 2:29 PM
I think that social TV has to extend to whenever the audience is talking about a show. The hour before and after is great, but what about viewers watching on-demand? The social aspect of TV was never time-limited in the days before social technology and platforms and it has to, in my opinion, replicate the 'did you see...' experience that was such big part of TV long before Facebook or Twitter.THINK_Lyndonat 5:18 PM
To sort of piggyback off your point, Carri -- TV has become almost like book reading in that when you get distracted while reading, you find yourself reading the same passage several times before you can "regroup." Now you can do that with TV -- pausing the DVR or Hulu, for example. It's no longer the Beatles on Ed Sullivan where everyone was crowded around a little TV.
Is that something you are thinking of more - producing 'real-time' content that can be consumed at any time?
To that point Katie, what are the implications of that for second screen events?
The best answer to time-shifted viewing IMHO is time-shifted comments. The folks at @Tomorrowish have been working on this and I believe they have a contract with CNN to do this. That means they'll time-sync tweets to the original live broadcast of a show and then when people tune into a show on their own time, they can view those tweets as if they were watching the show live.
The biggest problem to time-shifted viewing is spoilers. I know folks are working on that too, but thus far there isn't a great solution.
It sounds like it's going to get mighty complicated...
Willem, is 'replay' very important for the MDR - can viewers watch shows back later?
on SocialTV it is complicated. We offer our content in the mediathek for watching it online later. We also offer the chat for reading it later. But up for today we do not offer it in a combination. it is a good question for the future
Somehow we've only got a few minutes left (this hour has absolutely flown by) so it might be an idea to muse on just that, the future.
Carri are there any exciting trends that you're aware of emerging in the socialTV sphere?
Willem and Katie - are there any exciting projects in the pipeline for CNN and MDR?
The “TATORT” is one of the famoust products of the ARD – so it is really one of our most interesting projects and we will keep on offering it. But in fact we always try to develop other interesting projects. For example the Olympic Games in Sotschi will come with SocialTV supply.