Posted by: Administrator
on Jun 13, 2012
Converge 2012: The Business of Social Media by the Institute for Social, Search & Mobile Marketing (ISSMM) took place last week in Fremont, California. The two-day event ended with a Social TV session titled “Social TV: Social Media Conversation and Participation Around What Happens on Television, The Second Mobile Device Phenomenon”. The session’s panel discussion featured Arktan’s Sirpa Aggarwal, SocialSamba’s Aaron Williams, Samsung’s Greg Dudey, and Blendtec’s Tom Dickson with Greg Berkin as the moderator.
Tom Dickson kicked off the discussion by showing a viral Blendtec video that demonstrated the power of a video with engaging content to create social buzz and drive sales. Sirpa Aggarwal from Arktan presented two case studies showing how Arktan had provided solutions for real-life problems for TV networks in the Social TV space. The first case study was Arktan’s strategic partnership with USA Network to power the network’s Character Chatter site. The second case study was about FOX Network’s “The X Factor” site and “Xtra Factor” iPad app, both also powered by Arktan. Sirpa shared some statistics showing how all these destination sites have been very successful in increasing social buzz about their respective shows by creating interactive and engaging experiences for the users.
Aaron Williams from SocialSamba talked about the emerging trend of gaming combined with people’s desire to interact with virtual characters. He mentioned MTV Network’s “Teen Wolf” Facebook app that fans can engage with beyond the broadcast window. Aaron’s other example was USA Networks’ Hashtag Killer site that has been engaging fans around the USA Network’s “Psych” TV show. These examples show how storytelling and weaving virtual characters into stories are building engagement.
Greg Dudey from Samsung spoke about the technology in the Social TV space, and about Samsung’s commitment to developing engaging products and apps for their users. Greg also mentioned gaming, and much of the remaining discussion in the panel centered around this emerging trend in the Social TV space. The subject of gaming had also come up at April’s Social TV Summit in San Francisco, where Pepsi’s Andrea Harrison advised brands not to underestimate the role of gaming in driving engagement.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of Converge 2012 was MC Hammer making a highly anticipated VIP appearance, arriving just in time to participate in the Social TV panel discussion. MC Hammer was enthusiastically welcomed by both the audience and the panelists. He also spoke about gaming as an important trend, emphasizing its power in building engagement. He also pointed out how people now want to be participants in the virtual stories, developing the stories themselves, in contrast to being merely users.
The themes that emerged in the Social TV panel discussion mirrored many of the themes from other recent industry events Arktan has posted blogs about. Engaging storytelling deliverable across multiple platforms, and the importance of relevant and interactive content continue to be be among the leading themes. Yet, what surfaced as something new at this latest Social TV event was the emerging trend of gaming that is already shaping the Social TV space, potentially propelling it towards a new evolutionary stage.
Posted by: Administrator
on May 23, 2012
Some of our past blog posts have been talking about the Social TV space, and about the evolutionary path we saw being underway. The space is no longer nascent, yet far from mature, continuing to evolve. While the space was initially occupied almost exclusively by TV networks able to take advantage of disruptive new technologies and apps, with an ability to scale them, the more recent entrants into this space are brands eager to combine their marketing and social media expertise with Social TV and second-screen apps’ unparalleled market reach.
Perhaps the best two examples of such brands are Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Both brands are among America’s most-loved and long-lived brands, with fiercely loyal fan bases spanning the globe. While the past “Cola Wars” were battled using traditional marketing tools and programs, the new battleground has shifted towards use of social media tools, with Social TV and second-screen apps as the new platforms in the battle for the market leadership.
Pepsi has been a sponsor of “The X Factor USA”, airing past musical videos during the commercial breaks of the show, true to its musical marketing roots. In addition, the company is a sponsor of “The X Factor USA” branded second-screen app for the Social Web conversation about the show. Coca-Cola in the meantime has been partnering with “American Idol” to promote its own brand. Coca-Cola also built a successful marketing campaign around the 2012 Super Bowl. The company aired its “Polar Bowl” ads during the Game, while the polar bears also engaged with fans in real-time on Twitter and Facebook during the Game. Advertising Age reported that Coca-Cola was able to engage nine million viewers with its “Polar Bowl” campaign.
The type of innovative and creative genius demonstrated by both Coca-Cola and Pepsi are upping the ante for all brands thinking about entering the Social TV space. The mega brands are also valuable for the space itself by further validating it, while propelling the growth and evolution of the space, and paving the way for brands to enter it.
Posted by: Administrator
on May 12, 2012
Canadian Television, CTV, used Social Screen live chats for the “American Idol” TV show on Wednesday, marking the first time Social Screen was used for the show. Social Screen became a live social chat hub for the Canadian fans watching “American Idol”, and will be used again during the May 16 show.
CTV has been using Social Screen, powered by Arktan, during past big social events, including the Oscars. The chats are usually hosted by celebrities. Wednesday’s debut was co-hosted by Shawn Desman, a popular Canadian singer, and Erika Van Pelt, singer, songwriter, and musician, and past American Idol contestant herself.
Once the fans had logged into the site, they were able to start interacting with the site’s content by posting their comments, commenting on other fans’ posts and content, and even exchanging comments with the site’s hosts, Shawn and Erika.
Social Screen for the “American Idol” opened up with a bang, generating lots of buzz and interest among the Canadian fans of the show. The fan interaction on the site with the hosts and other fans was very robust and lively. Stay tuned for the encore on May 16!
Posted by: Administrator
on May 3, 2012
Digital Hollywood opened up with interesting panel discussions about the current state of content delivery and consumer experiences, and how to create more immersive consumer experiences in the future. The interplay between consumer experiences and respective evolution of software and hardware products was talked about as well, along with ideas for Social TV and second-screen experiences. The following is a summary of some of the key trends that emerged from the panel discussions during the opening day, attended by Arktan.
The physical TV viewing has changed, yet it has come a full circle: In the past families sat together in the same space, watching the same programming. Later on family members sat in separate locations around the home each watching their own programming. Now again families oftentimes share the same space, but this time each watching their own programming, and increasingly on mobile devices.
TV viewing has always been about a story. Storytelling is at the core of TV. How to augment that storytelling is the key question to be answered. Social TV, too, is about storytelling. TV networks must focus on enhancing TV conversation by telling great stories via TV programs and combining viewer interaction with them.
Social TV is much more than what people are talking about on Twitter and Facebook. For example, X Factor Digital worked with show producers to first really understand how they wanted to tell the story, and then the digital and creative parts got integrated in a top-to-down approach that proved very successful.
The content still has a long way to go to make it truly interactive and engaging. Relevant content will be a key trend now and going forward, and the value of the shows depend on the content that is created. Curation of content therefore is increasingly important as a way to create audiences, to keep them engaged long-term, and in helping to build a social following. The power of social media is very measurable, and includes use of social media intelligence. Shows are frequently changed based on change in engagement metrics; for example, time spent watching the shows. There is huge potential for creating second-screen apps that would deepen the engagement.
The technology is the way to bridge content with community, but creating isolated digital experiences is not the goal, rather, technology should make the experiences social, and part of community. The goal remains to create compelling, engaging experiences, and deliver augmented reality on digital, providing the right content at the right time at the right place.
The above shows just how interconnected the digital space has become, and the trend will continue to evolve towards increasingly seamless integration across the space.
Posted by: Administrator
on Apr 27, 2012
The spring edition of Digital Hollywood is just around the corner. The event will host a series of presentations and special events showcasing the latest trends in digital technology, media and entertainment, including Social TV, Social Music, and Social Brands.
It will be interesting to see how the Social TV discussion has evolved since the Digital Hollywood event last October, where Arktan was present. Here’s a link to our blog. The consensus then was that real-time social interaction with content will only grow over time. Content is still king, but besides high quality, it has to be also highly relevant, and deliverable on multiple platforms, increasingly so on mobile. Next Monday’s Social TV session is likely to talk about these trends, and their impact on brands.
TV viewers are increasingly interacting with TV shows and their casts in a seamless, real-time environment via social networks and on branded apps in a multi-platform, multi-app digital environment. This dynamic, interconnected landscape of users, brands, application developers, and technology platform providers requires continuous industry-wide innovation and creativity to keep elevating the quality and content of user interaction and engagement.
Arktan is looking forward to being at Digital Hollywood again next week. We will follow up with a blog post highlighting key trends.