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Posts tagged with ‘social tv’

The New Multi-Screen World, research from Google

The New Multi-Screen World, research from Google

Ericsson has released a new report showing the rapidly changing complexion of TV use. Social media is growing like mad, and although Ericsson downplays it, an additional 7% in cord cutting since 2011 is like a tire iron coming through the windshield.

[And I wish they would stop talking about TV ‘consumption’. No one is consuming anything. Let’s just call it TV use.]

Elisabeth Murdoch Tells The TV Industry To Adapt Or Die →

worktalkresearch:

The first woman in 17 years to give the MacTaggart address at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Elisabeth Murdoch did more than just bitchslap her brother, James, for his devotion to profits at all costs in his own MacTaggart lecture three years ago.

[…]

'if we don’t have the confidence to collaborate between producers and broadcasters, advertisers and second screen services - we are in danger of losing the battle at just the time when we could be winning.'

Read the whole piece. She’s a visionary.

(Source: worktalkresearch)

NPD: Global LCD TV Shipments Fall for First Time - Tess Stynes via WSJ →

We have officially passed peak TV:

Tess Stynes via WSJ

Global television shipments fell 8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, as LCD-TV volume posted its first year-over-year drop, according to research firm NPD Group.

LCD TV shipments fell 3% to 43.1 million units from a year earlier and were down by a third quarter-to-quarter. World-wide TV shipments fell 32% from the fourth quarter to 51.2 million.

As TV becomes absorbed as ‘just another sort of media’ by the Web it is being transformed into New TV. New TV is about a swarm of devices — smartphone, tablet, PC, dumb display, but not just a dumb TV in the corner.

Demand for gigantic monitors will decrease — except for the older demographics — because people aren’t just using TV in the living room: it’s wherever they are, using whatever displays that are available. And the payback on a 50 inch bulb decreases if you are watching in bed, on the train, in the bathtub, at a friend’s house.

The WSJ piece makes no effort to thread these numbers into some larger societal trend, which is a shame.

Jeremy Allaire on Why The Cable Companies Will Play Along With Apple

Anthony Kosner interviewed Jeremy Alliare about Apple’s hopes for a displacement of conventional cable TV, as he laid out in a recent WSJ piece. Allaire had written some things that line up very closely with the predictions I made in the recent special report, Social TV and The Second Screen. In particular, Alliare wrote:

In my view, TV is the last screen to fall as a computing platform. What do I mean by this? That we should think of TV screens and monitors as the final frontier in Internet-based software applications, not as devices to watch and consume video content.

Properly conceived, a TV is a large high-definition audio/video rendering device that plays a role in displaying content and related data. While certainly the ideal device for consuming and using video-based content, it is also simply put the largest computer monitor in our lives, and one that very often presents in a social context — the living room, the conference room, the dorm room, the classroom, the retail store floor and shop window. In short, these TV monitors are at the core of all of our major social and economic activities.

And in recognizing the broader role that these monitors play in our lives we can begin to re-conceptualize TVs as not just screens for video, but as a rich computing surface for viewing information, playing games, communicating, learning, shopping and so forth. In the past, when trying to use these screens for non-video applications, we would connect them to a PC or laptop (to present a shared piece of content that a group could discuss or interact on), or connect them to a game console for playing games.

In general, most attempts to evolve the capabilities of the TV monitor into richer computing platforms have failed.

Allaire goes on to suggest that Airplay and realted capabilities on our Apple devices allow a transition to using these devices as the next generation set top box, with a superior user experience compared today’s lame options. And it positions Apple to dominate as the preferred second screen in the New TV world, which is about experience, not audience.

Allaire waves a hand of what Apple might do after that — when it also is selling the TV device, and not just adapters for non-Apple TV devices — but the big question is: how can Apple get the existing players to play along? And that’s what Kosner wondered, too:

Anthony Kosner, Brightcove CEO Allaire on How New Apple TV Experience Will Change Home, Work, Advertising via Forbes

Kosner:What do you think Apple has to do to get the “very top-tier TV operators like Comcast and Time Warner to go for their proposal?” Is it just a matter of selling a ton of “add-on” devices with whatever alliances they can start out with and then the top-tier will have to come around? Or are there specific concessions the cable companies are looking for?

Allaire: I think it’s a complicated question. At the core, Comcast, Time Warner and the like are concerned about losing control of the customer relationship, losing margin, and becoming ”dumb pipes” as it were. Clearly, however, if Apple can establish a footprint of TV connected devices that is in the 10s of millions, which should be possible in 1-2 years, their deeper concern will be Apple having enough scale and leverage that they will go direct to the broadcast programmers and disrupt the existing packaging and distribution model for TV content. While expensive for Apple, it is conceivable. That threat may drive one or more of the top-tier MPVD’s [multichannel video programming distributors] into an alliance with Apple that marries their programming relationships and existing broadcast product with an Apple-controlled user experience, much like Apple established with voice products on top of the wireless carrier networks. But I don’t see Apple doing this without also retaining the right and ability to innovate in video content pricing/packaging models as well.

[…]

Kosner:Will marketers be more likely to sponsor content experiences on this new platform-to wrap their messages and offers around the content-as opposed to using more traditional advertising devices (i.e., the 30-second spot)?

Allaire: This has been the question for almost a decade across multiple new mediums.  When we launched Brightcove Video Cloud almost 7 years ago, we had envisioned interactive marketing experience that launched from and wrapped around online video, but the advertising industry didn’t bite and stayed focused on extending the TV commercial model to the Web. There are a host of reasons for this, and I ultimately thought it was a short-sighted approach from the marketer community. When apps came to phones and tablets, again, people thought that richer forms of interactive marketing would become the powerful advertising model, but as you can see today, we are largely still stuck in the display advertising world in mobile and tablets. I do think we will break through and marketers will embrace deeper forms of interactive marketing on these platforms, especially as we extend into the traditional “turf” of TV advertising in the living room.

Too many people are narrowly focused on what it means to have second-screen apps for existing TV video content. I do think that is an important space and one that we’ll see a huge amount of innovation around, especially as Apple TV Apps take hold. For example, we’re working with some broadcasters on TV Apps that provide a great HD viewing experience that is controlled on the iPad and where, while the program runs, compelling companion content, including social streams, are available. That is certainly more “social” than existing broadcast TV.

Kosner:Following up on the last question, do you see the “connected TV” and “second screen” paradigms that you describe as being potentially more successful advertising mediums than desktop and mobile, and if so, why?

Allaire: In theory, this should be the ultimate medium for advertisers, the combination of deep, high-quality viewing environment and an engaged, interactive medium. TV advertisers have been dying for methods of bringing the emotional impact of high-production value video-based commercials into the online environment, and this new model offers that, irrespective of whether users are using a “video app” or some other content app on their Apple TV. Crucially, the larger surface of the TV combined with the companion surface of the tablet creates a highly compelling environment for rich media interactive advertising.

I find a great deal of what Allaire says to be prescient, especially the power of the Swarm Of Devices to create a rich user experience. Perhaps I differ in my aversion to the traditional media thinking creeping in, but this is a distinction of degree not disagreement.

Most critically, Allaire has laid out the strategy that Apple might be using to get cable operators to play along. If they can envision a near future in which Apple has become the premier provider of a transitional New TV experience with tens of millions of add-on devices or iTVs sold, they could face extinction because Apple could start creating their own programming or licensing it directly. Therefore, it might be more adaptive for cable operators to make deals with Apple upfront, and get baked into the new recipe.

I’m sure Apple must be spinning some version of that story, as Allaire suggests.

(via worktalkresearch)

Henry Blodget On The Fall Of Old TV

The Dirt Floor

Henry Blodget looks at his own family, and sees the demise of the existing TV business model. It’s not going to fade away this week, but as the behaviors of the larger population shift into a mode more like Blodget’s the effect on TV will be almost exactly like the fall of newspapers. I agree with him.

I Don’t Mean To Be Alarmist, But The TV Business May Be Starting To Collapse - Henry Blodget via Business Insider

In our household, as in many households, television consumption has changed massively over the past decade, especially over the past 5 years.

  • We almost never watch television shows when they are broadcast anymore  (with the very notable exception of live sports)
  • We rarely watch shows with ads, even on a DVR
  • We watch a lot of TV and movie content, but always on demand and almost never with ads (We’re now so used to watching shows via Netflix or iTunes or HBO that ads now seem like bizarre intrusions)
  • We get our news from the Internet, article by article, clip by clip. The only time we watch TV news live is when there’s a crisis or huge event happening somewhere. (You still can’t beat TV for that, but soon, news networks will also be streamed).
  • We watch TV and movie content on 4 different screens, depending on which is convenient (TV, laptops, phones, iPad)

[…]

So, what are the key points of this shift in user behavior for the traditional TV business?

  • "Networks" are completely meaningless. We don’t know or care which network owns the rights to a show or where it was broadcast. The only question that’s relevant is whether it’s available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or iTunes. This means that one of the key traditional “businesses” of TV—the network—is obsolete.
  • The majority of what we pay our cable company is wasted. We get broadband Internet from our cable company, and we use that constantly. But we also get 500 channels that we almost never watch, along with a couple (HBO, Tennis Channel) that we pay extra for and do watch occasionally.
  • We rarely watch TV ads, and when we do, we’re usually doing something else at the same time—like typing. Also, the ads seem startlingly intrusive, because we’re not used to them.

More directly, what this means is this:

  • The vast majority of money TV advertisers spend to reach our household (~$750 a year, ~$60/month) is wasted, because we rarely watch TV content with ads, and, when we do, we rarely watch the ads.
  • The vast majority of money we pay our cable company for live TV (~$1,200 a year / ~$100/month) is wasted, because we almost never watch live TV and we can get most of what we want to watch from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

This user behavior has been changing for a while, and, so far, it has had almost no impact on the TV business. On the contrary, the networks and cable companies are still fat and happy, and they’re coining more and more money every year.

But remember what happened in the newspaper business.

Newspapers didn’t collapse in the ’90s, when the behavior of the creative and connected started to pull away from that sort of media. It was ten years later, and the newspaper moguls were *still* blind-sided by the web despite a decade of obvious change in the user base.

Blodget says that the old TV players will have to accept this change, and that TV will become just another source of video, and this transition will mean a huge loss of revenue for the traditional linear TV players.

In the long run, we’re in an age of experience: not audience. We don’t ‘watch’ TV or ‘consume’ media anymore: we are participants and TV users, not ‘watchers’. The old guard don’t get it, but we are turning a corner and leaving old TV behind.

I expect the TV industry to put up a fight, to resist being sucked into the black hole known as the web. They will redouble efforts to lock things down, to restrict access to the most popular shows and sports, and to act as a cartel to slow the absorption of TV by the web.

The game changer — not mentioned by Blodget — is that TV is losing viewers, and people’s behavior is changing. So, other players outside the conventional TV world are buying properties that will move more and more control out of the hands of the NBCs and ComCasts of the world. Like Google and YouTube.

A company like Apple can disaggregate the linear TV model, just like their iTunes and iPod did to the music business. It may lead to more ‘TV’ being watched in the long run, but less money streaming to the middlemen that structured linear TV so they could make huge profits.

The advertising model of TV already makes no sense, since people with mobile devices and tablets are already spending more time looking at the second screen than the TV itself. The fall of TV will come with a bang, as soon as some major player — Apple, Google, or Facebook, perhaps — rolls out a dominant second screen platform and starts selling synchronized advertising there, and all without paying the networks.

In the long run, we’re in an age of experience: not audience. We don’t ‘watch’ TV or ‘consume’ media anymore: we are participants and TV users, not ‘watchers’. The old guard don’t get it, but we are turning a corner and leaving old TV behind.

More Research On The Second Screen

Nielsen continues its measurement of the second screen:

Cory Bergman, What TV viewers are doing on their tablets [study]

Nielsen answers the question, what are they doing on their tablets? And how does it change across demographic groups?

Most of what is going on isn’t related to the TV shows being watched, but my bet is that because the second screen solutions haven’t rolled out far enough and they aren’t really providing great user experiences yet.

Synchronizing Ads On The Second Screen: A Study

Hill Holliday and SecondScreen Networks set up a study to find out how they might sunchronize the head shifting that goes along with the ‘swarm of devices’ style of TV use that goes on these days, given the emergence of the second screen:

Ilya Vedrashko, Smartphones Distract People Away from TV, Mobile Ads Help Bring Them Back

When people are in front of the TV, they don’t just watch TV.

The pioneering Middletown Media Study conducted in the pre-iPhone and pre-iPad era of 2005 showed that, at the time, 28.5% of 240.9 daily TV viewing minutes were accompanied by exposure to at least one other medium. (Talking on the phone and texting were the most frequent sources of interruption). In addition, about half of all TV minutes were accompanied by non-media life activities, such as caring for others, eating and cleaning.

The competition for TV viewer’s attention has hardly subsided. Since the study, smartphone penetration in the US soared from 3.8% in 2006 to 44% by the end of 2011. Today, for many tablet and smartphone owners (45% and 41%, respectively) using their mobile device while watching TV is a daily activity.

For any advertiser, these numbers lead to a natural question: What happens to my TV ads?

Having failed to locate a ready answer, we decided to find out for ourselves. We partnered with SecondScreen Networks, a company that sells mobile ads synchronized to what’s playing on the TV, to set up an experiment. Our formal objective was to understand the effect of advertising on a secondary screen during concurrent content consumption of television and mobile content.

They rigged up an experiment with three scenarios: 1/ no phone in hand, 2/ a phone in hand showing unsynchronized ‘ads’, and 3/ phone in hand that syncs an ad with a trailer running on the TV.

They discovered that the first scenario had higher recall and preference rates:  on average 17% higher recall and 12% higher preference than the two-screen groups.

But — and this is the suggestive aspect of the experiment — the synced second screen scenario brought the preference rates up over the unsynced second screen scenario: back up 15%. Recall was lower but people are less unsettled by the second screen.

As Vedrashko tells it:

If independently confirmed, these findings could mean a couple of things. One is that TV advertisers will be looking for ways to compensate for the drop in TV ad effectiveness caused by TV-mobile multitasking either by dialing up frequency or by putting up two-screen roadblocks with the help of companies such as SecondScreen Networks.

Secondly, ads that invite viewers to engage with a smartphone right away – shazam it! scan this QR code! – might be ruining it for the next ad in the pod. The playing field of a commercial break is already uneven: an emotionally impactful ad will carry viewer’s thought way beyond the allotted 30 seconds. By getting people to fumble with their smartphones, an ad essentially makes viewers tune the TV out for the duration of the exercise.

Looks like synchronization of second screen ads is going to be worthy of more research.

OgilvyOne London: “As an ad agency, we’ll always be trying to lean forward” | Lean Back 2.0 →

OgilvyOne London: “As an ad agency, we’ll always be trying to lean forward” - Emma Gardner via Lean Back 2.0

Has OgilvyOne London seen any evidence of people “leaning back” when consuming ads or creative content on their iPad?

[OlgivyOne London Chief Executive Annette] KING: It’s interesting because we were having a debate between lean forward and lean back before we got on the call with you. There’s a time and a place for both. The Economist app is a good example of a ‘lean back and consume’ type of situation. As an ad agency, though, we’ll always be trying to lean forward. We’re always trying to get people to take part in the app and engage with the ad. By definition, it’s an immersive kind of approach.

We’re really interested in the dual screen experience right now. By dual screen, I mean sitting in front of the TV with a tablet. You might be watching one thing on the TV, but doing something else on your tablet. And we want to start connecting those two things. If Jamie Oliver is making a special truffle recipe on television, you can use your tablet to find out where truffles grow in the world, or how to make Jamie’s recipe. You can get people involved through the second screen.

I wonder about ‘always trying to lean forward’: isn’t there a place for ambient advertising? Ambient awareness of other people (through Twitter or other social tools) is a back of the mind sort of attention scheme: you know what people are up to based on their updates moving by while you are doing other things.

I conjecture that ambient advertising could be very effective on the second screen. Imagine that as I am watching a cooking show, and I’ve enabled a second screen gear applet on my tablet. As the chef’s use various kitchen tools, the gear applet streams pictures and descriptions of the gear: this knife, this sauce pan, this stove. You might think that this is a lean-forward set up — that I am dedicating foreground attention to the gear streaming by — and I might do that the first few times I use the app. However, as I habituate to the app, I will begin to treat it as a lean-back stream of information, so my perception of the products being featured is more additive or cumulative. It’s just as much about brand building as a call to action.

Yes, there will still be times when I want to buy that particular knife, right now. But in general I think it will lead to a collection of brand associations built over time, so that when I get to the point when I want to buy a new knife, a few brands are in my head, and I choose between them at the store, or online.

If there is one thing that advertisers can do, though, to make lean-forward intimacy with products more likely on the second screen, it would be to make it easy to share product information and images with other people: wire it deeply into the social dimension of TV.

(For more on Social TV and The Second Screen, download the free Work Talk special report on that subject, here.)

Special Report: Social TV and The Second Screen →

I am happy to release a special report I’ve recently written, Social TV and The Second Screen, developed cooperatively by Work Talk Research and The Futures Agency. Gerd Leonhard from The Futures Agency wrote the foreword, saying

The overlap of social media and TV represents a huge opportunity for those that truly understand and internalize, embrace and partake in these changes, and that welcome this dawning networked, interdependent and many-to-many society.

The report addresses the transition from the old world of TV into a new era, changed from top to bottom by the social web and the emergence of today’s always-with-us mobile devices: the second screen.

From Old To New TV

The term TV carries many meanings.

TV is broadcast in various frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum, and a wide variety of devices have been constructed to operate around the transmission and decoding of signals in those frequencies, and so the term TV can in fact refer to that spectrum. It is the device in the corner of your living room that captures those signals, and decodes them for you, or, nowadays, is more likely to get a signal transmitted through a cable network, and from coax screwed into the back.

In general, when people talk about TV they are referring to the medium of communication that the physics of TV broadcasting makes possible. And, although our civilization might have come up with dozens of forms that medium of communication might take, principally it is a form of entertainment, showing news, sporting events, sit coms, and reality TV shows, in a swirling, kaleidoscopic hodgepodge. And on free TV — broadcast or paid — TV involves a relatively large proportion of ad minutes per hour.

We are at an inflection point, where TV becomes another corner of human civilization that has fallen into the black hole called the web. As a result, in the next few years — at least in the advanced economies of the world — the way we experience TV will be changed profoundly, and the meaning of the word will change in corresponding ways.

For more information and to download, click here.