Monday, 31 December 2012

Real time second screen viewing analysis arrives

We’ve been saying it for some time now but it seems that the popularity of second screen viewing is now so popular that media companies and brands now want to measure its relationship with other services. This week Twitter and ratings company Nielson announced a partnership which will monitor the amount of social media activity directly related to content being broadcast on the main screen.

It’s hoped the new tool will allow networks and advertisers to access real-time metrics for understanding TV audiences and social activity. With tablets set to be the number one present this Christmas, the entire tablet market is expected to shoot up 112% compared to last year. It means more people will have a screen sitting on their lap whilst settling down to watch their favourite shows, leading to more interaction with the content they will be watching.

With this trend now clearly established, the digital TV market must adapt to changing viewing behaviour to ensure it meets consumers’ needs. The link between social media and TV viewing highlights the benefits of linking tablets and smartphones directly to TV devices to provide relevant information based on what the consumer is watching.  

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Twitter spikes demonstrate links between TV and social media

After a year of sport which saw the Olympics come to the UK, a Brit win a tennis major,  Chelsea win the European Champions League and a Briton claim cycling’s Yellow Jersey Twitter has revealed that seven of the top ten trending stories in 2012 were related to sport.

As the nation was glued to their screens by a compelling year of sport, 2012 also became the year when viewers truly interacted with the content they were witnessing. At one point, fans were tweeting so much while watching a sports event it even impacted the coverage carried by the BBC.

For the connected TV market, 2012 has shown the potential for companion device applications. It’s something we’ve believed in for a long time, and that we’ve continued to develop in our own product range by adding new features such as Twitter integration to ANT Galio Move. New viewing behaviour is driving the development of new TV applications that will enhance the overall experience, which can only be good news for consumers.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Would Twitter be 'poorer' without TV?

Twitter’s sales director, Bruce Daisely, recently said that Twitter would be “poorer” without TV.  Up to sixty per cent of Twitter users in the UK use it while watching TV, with 40% of peak-time twitter use being related to TV. These figures reinforce the view that social media can coexist with TV and add value to it.  Mr. Daisley is right to say that Twitter complements TV, rather than competes with it, but his claim that Twitter has become an EPG is a little far-fetched.  While Twitter may be good at spreading word-of-mouth recommendations about certain shows, this is very different to the social media network actually acting as an EPG.

Despite that, there is a point to be made here, and it’s one I’ve made on this blog before: while content is still king, finding the right content is becoming more difficult as the number of channels and sources of media grow. Traditional recommendation engines can only help this to a limited degree, because they are typically designed to cope with the viewing habits of one individual and not a household of people with different tastes and demographics.

Social media services like Twitter offer the potential to give real-time recommendations from a group of people that you trust, although there are still limitations to this: of the people in your Twitter feed, how many do you really care about in terms of their TV-watching habits? There are ways of addressing this by having circles of friends, in the way that Google+ does, but the current social media services don’t really handle this well.  There is potential here, but that potential hasn’t been realised yet.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Smartphone growth provides Connected TV and second screen opportunities

Nearly half of the UK now owns a smartphone. What’s interesting about the smartphone adoption rate is the pace at which it has accelerated (31 per cent in 2012). An increasing number of us are using these devices to access online content and we’re using them more often. This increase also represents an opportunity for the Connected TV market.

One of the longstanding criticisms of the Connected TV market is that these devices are often purchased and then not used to their fullest extent. Connection rates of TVs are slowly increasing although this remains an industry challenge, better consumer awareness, improved OTT content and better user interfaces are all needed. The growth of the smartphone market also presents opportunities for the Connected TV market; second screen applications can significantly enhance the Connected TV experience.

Touchscreen Smartphones are ideal for searching TV listings, scheduling recordings and managing the main TV without disrupting what’s being viewed. Live and recorded content can also be streamed to these devices as we’ve shown with our own ANT Galio Move.  

At this year’s IBC we demonstrated a range of new ANT Galio Move features that enable consumers to interact with social media and access additional associated online content such as iTunes, YouTube and Wikipedia based on what the consumer is watching. As smartphone and tablet adoption rates continue to grow so does the second screen opportunity for the connected TV Market.