Monday, December 6, 2010

Live Television, Social Networks and Targeted Advertising

Television viewership is no longer passive. Interactive television, webTV, surfing on PCs/notebooks/mobile devices while watching tv is the norm among the younger generations. Social network interaction is gaining more popularity than watching tv among younger generations.

While no one can really predict the future, it is fair to say that the following trends are going to stay with us.
  • More personalized viewing i.e. viewership on personal screens as opposed to one/two living room televisions. The familiar scene of watching tv together with other family members is one of the past. The availability of variety of content that appeals to various viewer categories and proliferation of portable devices are main reasons for this.
  • Consumption of time-shifted and recorded content: With the advent of personal and network video recorders (PVR, NPVR) are bringing an irreversible shift in television viewership patterns. It is fair to say that real time tv watching is relegated to live events and news in the markets where these technologies are available.
  • Appetite for quality content: As research trends from Motorola Media Center indicate viewers apetite and willingness to pay is driven by the quality of the content.
  •  Devices enabling social network interaction: Social interaction like tweeting and facebook posts while watching television is a trend to look forward to. Devices like GoogleTV, connected TVs and other tablet devices offer easy means to interact while watching television.
Social interaction on offline content like sharing links to clips is a popular trend. However interaction while watching live shows is relatively new.

For content providers, tapping into real-time social traffic would offer exiciting targeting opportunities. The relevance and the timing of targeting would be more effective when compared to social interaction on the offline content. The effectiveness of targeting itself could be more effectively measured by listening to the social traffic thus forming a closed loop feedback system.

Do you believe live television viewership would be revived by the popularity of social networks? Could networks and live content providers leverage these patterns and drive additional revenue streams? Is targeted advertising ready to take advantage of ever growing social communities? What do you think?

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