AD: Writer Simon Duminico shares interesting insights on the short falls of social TV, including the focus on programming windows to drive interaction, rather than year-round, multi-platform engagement with a show’s fans. He’s not wrong on this point, but there’s more.
Social TV Fail Whale
Excerpt: In those early days, working with Ad Age’s editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media monitoring firm, it was pretty amazing watching thousands, and then tens of thousands, and then millions of social-media comments rack up around individual shows. For TV people (showrunners and network marketing types, especially), I know it was thrilling. For me, as a media columnist, it was fascinating having a front-row seat as the whole second-screen phenomenon was birthed in real time and gained critical mass.
And then … it got boring. New social-TV records continue to get set — the phenomenon seems far from peaking — but they’re rarely surprising anymore.
Then, last December, after Nielsen bought SocialGuide, Nielsen and Twitter announced they were working on creating something called the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating — “a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter” — in time for the fall 2013 season. I’m keeping an open mind, but a part of me felt that that was a jump-the-shark-moment for social TV. As I’ve written before, when it comes to social-media response, absolute numbers — especially when used to compare disparate shows — are largely meaningless. There are just way too many variables to correct for between viewer demographics and show genres (e.g., a low-rated CW drama can explode on Twitter thanks to tweet-happy teen girls, dwarfing the social-media response to, say, a top-rated police procedural over on older-skewing CBS).
So, yeah, what of the future of social TV? For starters, Trendrr is doing some interesting things with its curation tools — part of its “studio services” offerings — which are all about drawing insights for specific networks and showrunners from the social-media stream surrounding individual shows (i.e., the point is to listen to your audience). Bluefin Labs, another company that’s been sharing its data with Ad Age, is continuing to build out its sophisticated system for evaluating the efficacy and social reach of individual commercials.
But for my money, where it gets really interesting is when networks stop thinking about how to goose the social-media numbers surrounding the broadcast window and instead think of their shows as cross-platform (including social-media) brands that fans want to be able to engage with anytime they want. That’s the approach taken at, for example, USA Network, under digital chief Jesse Redniss. His team has pioneered in the creation of digital extensions of shows — everything from tablet comic books to elaborate, engrossing online games — that delight viewers (and sponsors) 24/7.
Read the full post on AdAge