Social TV Summit: Event Recap

I attended the Social TV Summit on November 16th in New York City. The event was beautifully executed to host an executive conference focused on social media and it’s effect on viewing content on TV, online, on tablets and on mobile devices. Jack Myers and Andy Batkin moderated the panelists primarily throughout the day.

Facebook representatives Kay Madati and Andy Mitchell took the stage as keynote speakers in the morning. Madati clearly stated that the past age was dominated by search, but that today’s social rules and digital expectations will command social TV to respond in a new age of discovery. He went on to mention that quantified social insights will determine engagement and uncover what motivates users to influence their friends via sharing. Technology will drive programming and monetization opportunities because it will be able to execute content recognition. Winner of the idea pitch, TVplus companion application, demonstrates the intertextual prospects of synchronized recognition most distinctly during a program. Content recognition will empower the companion experience by making supplemental content contextually relevant in conjunction with the temporal metadata of a broadcast.

Olivier Delfosse from Fremantle Media emphasized that broadcasters need to work with technology companies to make second screen experiences more consistent. As connected TVs, smart phones and tablets begin to proliferate, viewers will expect the technology to be dependable and work in harmony with the program in a naturalized fashion. However, Delfosse noted that unexpected second screen experiences are also needed in order to keep the content fresh and initiate participation via the element of surprise. Broadcasters need to become fully committed to integrating these technical tools and producers need to begin to consider the second screen when writing content. Once these practices are adopted content creators will be in the best position to capitalize on interactive digital revenue.

Jason Klarman, President of Oxygen Media/NBC Universal, mentioned that the audience mostly wants to talk to each other about content and use companion devices to observe related activity and discover more in depth. Chloe Sladden, afternoon keynote speaker from Twitter, discussed the basic programming practice of using visual indicators, like a promoted hashtag as an on-air graphic, to alert the audience of the active digital community they can participate in while producers harness backchannel traffic. Sladden indicated that the highest peeks in digital dialogue occur during moments of drama, whereas, commercial breaks seem to be consistently leveled.

Overall, the event was very insightful and reinforced many of the principal theories and beliefs currently in circulation about the development of social TV. I would have liked to see more producers present to voice their concerns as well as expectations for this emerging distribution platform. There is a substantial divide between creative production and advancing technical platforms for distribution; the lack of content creators present at the conference highlighted this reality. Progress will be achieved once these two sectors initiate communication and sustain partnerships. Those are the types of discussions that need to occur in order for the best digital programming strategy to surface and succeed.

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Media Multitasking: Peripheral Attention Span

Last week I participated in the two-day Social Media World Forum and Apps World conference in New York City. The event had four tracks in the following concentrations: marketing, social media marketing, social media tools and app development.

Scott Lincke, Senior Director of product management at Yahoo! Connected TV, spoke most about behaviorally targeting the three stages of a TV viewing experience.

  • Decision Making
  • Consumption of Content
  • Review and Reflection

First, the viewer initiates the decision making process. Social activity influences every individual. The source of influence may be from community chatter, public marketing exposure or from monitoring the activity of their social networks. Psychology principles acknowledge social influence to be a powerful factor during decision-making. Media’s participatory culture suggests that the true power of persuasion is provoked by suggestion within social networks and through the viral distribution of messages shared within niche TV centric communities. I believe this initial discovery of content and decision to consume is an opportunity for social media marketing strategies to harvest new viewers, but a phase that broadcasters often overlook.

The second stage is the actual consumption of content. This is when the audience as a whole engages in discussion and reacts to the content, online or offline. Broadcasters and advertisers have an opportunity to sustain loyal viewers if they seek to control the distracted moments of inevitable media-multitasking with related content. For example, social intermissions are ideal moments for brands to trigger interaction. Viewers are instinctively reaching for their mobile/tablet. The companion screen can prove highly successful if the broadcaster learns to empower each viewer. Commercializing on these interactive opportunities will keep networks from becoming outdated and obsolete. Supplemental content supplied exclusively for connected devices is becoming an element that viewers not only expect, but also demand. Companion content that encourages participation on personalized devices sustains attention and results in higher retention rates.

Investing into synchronized communication and supplemental content will benefit content providers tremendously if they seek to control these secondary touch-points.

It’s no longer about keeping eyeballs focused on the shared screen, but keeping viewer’s attention during the broadcast! By being in command of the exact moments to launch interactive components, networks can seamlessly capture the peripheral attention span of their audience during intermittent programming. Guiding the viewer’s will to stay tuned through initiating custom “calls to action” will lead to increased live traffic spikes, viral p2p distribution, monetization opportunities, social feedback, brand retention and content resonance. Communicating one-to-one stimulates the currently inactive and passive spectator into an empowered participant and brand advocate.’s single framework customizes synchronized communication strategies for unique broadcast content and the (IS) Interactivity Suite provides support within on-air systems, enables mobile/tablet companion applications and monitors live social discourse.

The final stage is review and reflection. Analysis of social feedback within online channels of discussion, ratings, reviews, sharing and community exposure of the branded content is critical in order to successful pursue a more relevant branding strategy.

Original Publication Source: Blog

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