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Why social media is critical to the future of TV

October 1, 2012 Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last week I had the pleasure of doing a keynote at the Televisa Conference in Mexico City. I talked about the shared future of TV and social media and wanted to pass on some thoughts from the event. I cannot stress enough how important the relationship between the two is, whether viewed through the lens of studios and network television, second- screen technology and e-commerce, or social media and viewer engagement. Here are four key reasons social media is so critical to the future of TV:

1. Product placement and social media increase the importance of television and advertising.

2. Viewers can now buy direct from television programming in real-time and share what they bought with friends.

3. By sharing purchases, viewers earn social currency and engagement with friends through discussions about the shows and what they bought.

4. TV programs are using social media to expand their audience, celebrities are using it to drive fans to their shows, and advertising and social shopping are connecting the two.

In fact, according to Accenture’s  U.S. Consumer Study, April 2012, information about a show, product or service was the #1 motivator for interacting with a social media while watching TV (43%). Other reasons included getting coupons and promotional codes (32 %); entering a contest/sweepstakes (31%); watching another video (26%); interacting about the show or product on social media (26%); connecting with others with similar interests (21%); sharing or recommending video/program to others (20%); and making a purchase (16%)

Currently TV can become social in 3 three ways:

1. Second screens: The number of television and Social TV viewers using second screens (laptops, smartphones & tablets) to interact with television is at an all time high.

2. Smart TV’s: Smart TV sets (Social TV sets), outfitted with easily accessed social networks and social applications, are rising.

3. STB’s: Newer Pay-TV Platform Operators’ newer STB’s (Set Top Boxes) outfitted with social networks and social applications that essentially turn them into Social TV STB’s.

So as, Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, succinctly put it earlier this year:

“The future isn’t either traditional or digital: it’s a feedback loop between the two. Television fans want to get involved and be counted. It’s how creative we are in engaging those fans – and keeping them connected even as they may move away from the traditional network – that will determine how potent and profitable we will be in the future.”

As a result each player in the Social TV ecosystem must assume a new role:

1. PRODUCERS must become MULTI-SCREEN STORYTELLERS + TECHNOLOGY INNOVATORS.

2. ADVERTISERS must become SOCIAL BRANDS + CONTENT PRODUCERS

3. VIEWERS are already becoming CO-CREATIVE CONSUMERS  + REAL-TIME COLLABORATORS

This shift has already begun as leading networks and innovative start-ups are racing to secure the advertising spend and eyeballs of the interactive and multi-screen Social TV space. So as you plan your content calendar for 2103, ask yourself what the marketplace will look like and how can you tell that story across multiple screens to get the greatest impact.

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9 responses to “Why social media is critical to the future of TV”

  1. Excellent Conference!

  2. Excellent conference about the shared future of TV and social media. 

  3. Karl Champley says:

    Thanks for sharing Simon – Great stuff!

  4. Pleasure Karl and glad it was useful.

  5. […] Needs to Overcome? Ad Age wonders. If you need convincing, try letting Simon Mainwaring explain Why social media is critical to the future of TV. Allow MediaPost to assure you that the Future Of TV Looks Bright Thanks To Social Media. And if […]

  6. Paul Ward says:

    Hi Simon – a thought on my own millenial:Online Living –
    the end of humanity?

    According to
    Futurist David Houle, we are at the beginning of the first era in human history
    where humanity can now meet in one place and simultaneously remain in their
    armchairs. I added the armchair bit! As the father of an online gaming son for
    whom collaborating online has become second nature, my thoughts as a 40 year
    old Gen Xer, go to fear and the stories of the adults with evil intentions. I’m
    out of date and showing my age.  I’m not
    alone – I have heard peers of mine decry this virtual existence of our
    offspring as possibly leading to the demise of civilization. However, if I
    listen to my son and his online activities, he is building, he is leading, he
    is imagining and he is self-actualizing. Of course, safety is paramount but as
    the precursor for our end? I don’t see that. I guess time will tell.http://kindredstateblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/online-living-the-end-of-humanity/

    Online Living –
    the end of humanity?

    According to
    Futurist David Houle, we are at the beginning of the first era in human history
    where humanity can now meet in one place and simultaneously remain in their
    armchairs. I added the armchair bit! As the father of an online gaming son for
    whom collaborating online has become second nature, my thoughts as a 40 year
    old Gen Xer, go to fear and the stories of the adults with evil intentions. I’m
    out of date and showing my age.  I’m not
    alone – I have heard peers of mine decry this virtual existence of our
    offspring as possibly leading to the demise of civilization. However, if I
    listen to my son and his online activities, he is building, he is leading, he
    is imagining and he is self-actualizing. Of course, safety is paramount but as
    the precursor for our end? I don’t see that. I guess time will tell.

    http://kindredstateblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/online-living-the-end-of-humanity/

  7. Thanks so much, Paul and also for the insightful article. I think the mind is plastic and evolves to develop skills sets peculiar to today’s technology and lifestyle. So those skills will always seem at odds with those from the previous generation because there’s a fundamental mismatch. as to which is the best version of skills, technology and culture, that’s a hard one to judge but I feel that your son’s development is not only inevitable, it’s absolutely appropriate to his time. Thanks, Paul. simon

  8. Hello, I’m a graduate student at Rice University who’s actually writing a dissertation (actively writing at the moment, not future tense) on the emergence of social television in Japan. I’m passing this link onto them, as I think the chart will be really helpful even to those who can’t easily read the content. There seems to be a lot of mutual interest in the way social television is developing differently in the two countries, so if you’d like to compare notes at any point, please drop me a line. Cheers!

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Simon Mainwaring

Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.

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