Next Threshhold For Social TV: Relevance
As I’ve dug into the world of social TV, where there is frenetic start-up, build out, and M&A activity, I’ve seen a large number of companies, large and small, maneuvering to find a foothold on the various slippery rockfaces they’re climbing. There are at least four groups jostling for social TV dominance.
Social media sites where there are already millions of users commenting to their social network about what they’re eating, reading, wearing, or watching.
Content sites, those inside Hollywood and the content creation industry (TV and cable networks, studios, distributors) and those outside Hollywood (Netflix, vudu, YouTube, Hulu for now). For example, Miramax, a distributor primarily focused on its catalog of previously made films, last week launched a Facebook app to attract fans to watch clips and VOD content and exchange comments.
App makers, many fresh start-ups or spinoffs, who are building “second-screen” apps for mobile devices. Typically these are check-in apps (GetGlue is an example) or electronic programming guides powered with social features (Comcast’s Tunerfish gets a lot of attention in this space, as does TV Genius, acquired by European video platform provider Red Bee Media in August, and Yap.tv).
Social TV metrics companies, not really trying to dominate, but instead to measure the impact of social interactions and translate that into advertiser or content provider value. The best known are Trendrr and Bluefin Labs, with a European entrant ThinkAnalytics readying a CRM-based recommendation/metrics service.
Right now, members of each group are trying to inhabit their space, build out their site, app, or service, and create a value proposition. But right now what most lack is relevance to the rest of the ecosystem. Advertisers, for the most part, remain uncertain how to interpret the social TV phenomenon. Many apps are in beta, and while lots of people are tweeting while watching, not that many have yet adopted a social TV site or app as their everyday go-to viewing companion. The metrics around social TV behavior are beginning to take shape. The next 6-12 months should see a spike in data about social TV activity, and the beginnings of a closed feedback loop between content creators, viewers, and advertisers.
Have you adopted a social TV app or site? Has your content or brand found value in social media feedback?