Social TV Check Up with Dr. Walton – Follow Up Visit

Thanks, TV, for taking the time to come in for your follow-up visit.

Now that you are getting on in age, there may be concerns that your equipment doesn’t work quite like it used to and I just want to make sure you can perform when the opportunity presents itself. Wouldn’t want you to have a nice home cooked meal in front of you, the lights dim and ready to tune in only to be distracted by some other device. So, while we have you, let’s check on your mobility because your ability to “get around” will have others talking and we want to make sure it gets positive reviews.

Our mobile devices provide a path which allows content viewed in the home to be transported into other venues of our life. The portability of this device gives advertisers the chance to build a bridge between the emotion generated by a TV ad that inspires us to make a purchase, all the way to brick and mortar locations. It is also driving the popularity of the Second Screen and the Second Screen experience will revolutionize advertising by creating new, connected solutions.

According to a TV Guide survey, 77% of people use social media to tell friends which shows they like. The need for more information as watch TV drives us to our Second Screen. Whether we want to figure out where we have seen that actor before or where that athlete went to school, mobile devices provide an opportunity to connect with a more engaged viewer. Recent Nielson and Yahoo studies show viewers’ mobile engagement while watching TV is around 85%; among tablet users it is at 70%. Mediamind recently reported that users click the most ads on mobile between 7pm-9pm. These are prime TV viewing hours and combining these insights provides a huge opportunity to provide advertisers with the most engaging campaigns.

This is where mobile and “Social TV” unite to form the next frontier of apps. Social TV can allow us to turn traditionally non-choice based impressions delivered by television, into choice based impressions, if we can creatively integrate the right message into our ads.

TV has been a staple of media plans since its inception for its ability to provide mass reach and drive awareness for brands like no other. It’s due for a check_up, and let’s start by making sure we are aware of the “check_ in”.

Check_In apps, made popular by Foursquare, allow your social network to know your location using the GPS on your smartphone and associating it with different locations. Their success has led to the development of many TV-based Check_In apps that use a variety of techniques to promote user involvement from stickers to badges to point systems that allow us to earn tangible rewards. The TV check_in allows us to correspond with people of similar tastes and share opinions on shows as we watch them together.

Going further , check in apps now offer extra content as we engage with our shows in real time. They offer the ability to locate a dress worn by our favourite actress while watching her live. Leading Check_In apps include GetGlue , Miso, IntoNow and Shazaam. These apps are now employing automatic content recognition (ACR) technology negating the need to “Check In” while watching certain shows. Our smartphone can detect inaudible signals from our TV, “see” what we are watching, then automatically push content to our phone or tablet .

This extended, and portable, engagement with brands has made TV’s ability to create awareness even more valuable.

There are also now social apps which provide you with a personalized TV guide as it tracks your individual habits and recommends shows that might interest you and your friends. These Social Guides are going to drive smarter viewing and allow us to truly hyper target consumers as we learn their viewing preferences through television recommendation. The leading players in this space are SocialGuide, Yap.TV, BuddyTV and Fav.TV. If TV continues in this direction, it has been hypothesized by Social TV expert Cory Bergman, that rather than seeing the last channel tuned when you turn spark up your TV, you will see a list of recommended shows. This screen will be more expensive than any other real-estate in television.

At the most fundamental level we are seeing these new entrants focusing on a vertical business model. They don’t want to try and be everything to everyone, like a Google or a Facebook, instead opting to do one thing very well. The question arises; what happens when someone figures out how to do everything really well? Will one dominate app take over this now cluttered landscape of companion apps?

Going forward we need to identify and partner with media vendors to make sure our customer has a presence in one of the three types of second screen companions (event, series or network_specific_. TV stations are seeing the benefits as a 9% increase in social buzz translates into 1 rating point in a premiere episode. (And this goes up to 14% for a finale episode_.

So, as I said during your last visit, I was wrong. It’s time to acknowledge that these second screens will be a major distraction for TV viewers. We need to think in terms of “Experience Strategy” instead of “Television Strategy” and we all need to do this now.