Tag Archives: Social television

Sports And Social

Some news this morning from the folks at Trendrr about social interactions with TV.

English: The iPad on a table in the Apple case

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On today’s list of not-so-surprising findings:

Sporting events continue to dominate in terms of social TV: ABC was given a boost by the NBA Finals, which accounted for more than 13.5 million social interactions. This made ABC the “most engaging” broadcast network in June.

Well, YEAH!  Sports is, and has always been, an extremely social activity.  In fact, when you think about the various ways in which people consume sports, it’s pretty obvious that without social something fairly big is missing.  The best sports viewing experience is in your living room.  Big screen TV, comfy chair, hundreds of people working very hard to make sure you see every detail of the game, supplemented with statistical insights and brilliant analysis.  Except if you’ve ever watched a game alone you realize it’s not as much fun as watching with a group.  Social is missing.

The other extreme is at the game itself.  It’s the best social sports experience.  You’re surrounded by thousands of other people who are doing almost nothing but socializing about the game, even before it begins (even before you get into the stadium in many cases).  It’s great, except you don’t have a lot of replays, you don’t get the insightful analysis, you  can’t see the perfect angle.  Social is there but obviously something is still missing.

To me, the ultimate sports experience is a sports bar.  Perfect game presentation, great social experience.  Social apps that we can use even when we’re alone help to bridge that gap and put us closer to that sports bar experience.  What Trendrr has reminded us is that the technology by itself is only part of the story – it facilitates something that has always been a major part of the sports experience.  It’s a good point to remember about your business: you can’t confuse the business with the technology.  I think activity around sports in these social areas is huge only because social has been a natural part of sports for a long time.  It doesn’t need to be manufactured.  Think about that as you contemplate using some new piece of tech.

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Social TV

Back in the early days of the online thing (it wasn’t even really the Internet then), I was working for a major television network (OK, ABC if you need to know).  As part of my job began to involve engaging people with online content, several higher-ups expressed concern that we might be pulling people away from the broadcast.  When I moved on to another large network, that thinking persisted.  We couldn’t or shouldn’t be doing anything that would pull viewers away from their TV screens.  It wasn’t a shock to me that the “exchanging analog dollars for digital dimes” analogy came from a TV person.

American family watching TV (cropped)

American family watching TV (cropped) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fast forward 18 years.  While TV viewing is more segmented than ever, overall viewing has continued to increase, as has use of digital devices to engage viewers.  In fact, there is now evidence that the very things that were feared to be pulling viewers away from TV are, in fact, deeply engaging them in the show.  According to a new study from iModerate Research Technologies, social media can increase the time viewers spend watching TV.  58% of those consumers who share stuff on social networks related to what they are watching at least 10 times a week, report watching more live TV. The respondents in this study consistently remarked that it makes TV more fun.

What’s really interesting is that there is evidence that the social activity has viewers adding shows to their TV activities specifically because of social conversations.  Turns out that it’s free promotion, not competition, I guess.  With time spent viewing continually on the rise, social interaction seems to be adding a dimension that can compensate for the times when “there’s 57 channels and nothing on.”

iModerate also found three types of consumers who regularly engage in social TV experiences. They are:

  • The Sports Nut”: 25-54 year-old males who use social platforms to comment on games, debate, talk trash, etc.
  • “The Extrovert”: 18-34 year-old males who have a lot of real-life and online friends.
  • “The Girlfriend”: 25-44 year-old females who primarily use social TV to discuss the dramas and reality TV shows that are important to them, which is akin to a “girls’ night out” experience, according to the study.

Another example of how sometimes our worst business fears are, in fact, our best friends!

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TV Is Only Half Of It

A little research to start the week.  A new study came out from Burst Media last week.  It was about how people view and interact with online video.  Not very much surprising in it – 71.6% of web users overall watch online content in a typical week—and 39.0% of all viewers spend between one and five hours per week with online video. Men aged 18-34 are the heaviest consumers of online video content, with 19.7% saying they consume 10 or more hours of video on the web per week.    Not much of a shock – almost every content company with which I work has a focus on video and I suppose it’s sort of chicken and egg – there’s more content offered in the form of video so the usages rises and because the demand goes up, content providers produce more.

There was also a nugget that made me pause. Continue reading

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