TV as Social Playground
I don’t know what’s your actual behavior and consumption of TV, but we can all say there’s probably the biggest revolution since Internet. We used to consider TV as « a whole set, environment of entertainment, emotion and information for the family.
Despite different revolutions like new consumption (VOD, OTT, catchup TV…), new wirings (DSL, DTH, DTT…), new quality (HD, 3D), TV remains a matter of contents. Believe me, as I worked for more than 10 years, in pay TV environments.
And, yes, it is still a question of content. To inform, entertain or turn upside down. It’s always contents that drive audience and make the money business. But since users started to generate contents (UGC) with social tools, the power between broadcasters, content producers and audience has been completely blended, from a steady flow, one at a time, to multi-producing anytime, anywhere, any device. And guess where we focus most of our time now?
Not on old TV formats, but the web. Web audience boosted since few years now, and consumption of any contents on mobile screens overtook the old devices.
The next big thing is this incredible second screen concept that shapes the exact new relation between:
- audience, e.g. who becomes active/reactive and participating
- content producers, e.g. who try to produce high potential contents and sustainable rights to engage in a longer lifetime, that is, more revenues
- advertisers and brands (here there’s no change but the increasing need to hold revenues and efficiency, anytime!
- broadcasters, e.g. whose job is keeping the light on overnight and increase revenue due to more audience from advertisers.
Fair game isn’t it? I’m probably writing a piece of this article on my laptop, while watching TV, sending twits
to engage with the actual TV show. And it’s not a question of the Y generation or being a millennial, as I'm neither.
The fact is that, socialize relations, sectors, or industries, means tumble down the easy flow of former
- You won’t be able to know how many times and how long, the former viewer is now, while he can zap, play, change the content - with one finger
- You won’t be able to value advertising and the guarantee for brands to invest in big channels, another effect of the long tail, created with the web
- You probably will be obliged to change, quick and dirty, programming because of twitter #attacks, ongoing, throwing away all your programming strategy
- The whole investments you do in long term programs is turned into a short formats of videos, soaps, viewed, reviewed, cached, and screened wherever but the TV
Think about how it’s changing the whole chain: skills, training, actors, eye-catching snaps, promotion, the relevance of a whole programming guide.
Where the web brought freedom and creativity, television lost traction moreover in youngest generation who nearly were born, without TV addiction. Many years ago, most of us believed that social TV was nothing more than bringing the web on TV screens and bloomed many connected TVs with new interfaces and web browsing.
Social means individualism because the essence of participating is the collaboration and the addition of multiple individual shares, talks, and debates. Soon (or already now?), you’ll be able to have an individual end for your favorite soap. The one you’ll choose, the one you’ll have, your end.
In some way, where technologies brought us the ubiquity of TV everywhere (DTH, Cable, xG Mobile, DTT, etc.), social brought us our network that awakes us more, engages us to participate, and allows us to be more aware of what’s going on.
In some way, we’re more actors than we think. We create the new content experience we finally want to see. What is more important in marketing than to have the choice to buy something we REALLY want?
Social TV is our choice, our experience, our chance to be more engaged than ever and keep the little flame for creation. Let’s light on.
Laurent Blondeau is a business development professional and writes about innovation, digital transformation, social business and busdev. He's volunteer for @kiva in France and holds two personal blogs. Tweet him at @evidencesx.