Future of Entertainment: Viewer becomes User


Mobile social networking apps continue to grow in popularity, a trend that gives emerging technology companies a unique chance to partner with entertainment channels to provide audiences with an enhanced, personalized experience. Key partnerships between entertainment outlets and social apps like GetGlue and GroupMe are important for marketers to increase visibility, reach and engagement with specific audiences. The development of social networking apps give direct access to audiences who opt-in to receive exclusive content, news and special promotions. Panelists will address how audiences and brands are increasing visibility through apps and allowing audiences to transition from being simple “viewers” to actual “users” as they communicate directly with media through evolving social media platforms.

Panelist Information

Quality of sound is not very good, just recorded on my iphone to aid in writing up proper notes at a later date. Below are just thoughts & comments, just thrown down here as they come up in the panel.

What does viewer becomes user mean to you. How do you make “lean back, lean forward” 75% of modern homes watch tv with a smartphone or computer. How can we use the engagement to make the viewer experience better
Enabling the viewer to not only interact with each other but with the show as well.

The watercolor effect has become more immediate. Why wait till tomorrow to discuss what you can do whilst the show is on air.

MTV – you know people are talking about what you are doing, you can choose to engage and use it or ignore it. Long history with viewer engagement using twitter as partner with shows as early as 2007
Showtime actively use GroupMe, group texting service to enable fans to communicate with each other during the shows, as early as from the season trailers.

GroupMe, people have more fun when the conversation is shared with people that they know. More open, honest conversation ensues.

Using Dexter series as an example of how they worked with Showtime. Hardest point to get over with the networks is that they were worried that if people are doing something else while watching the show, they’re not watching the show. GetGlue working closely with Showtime to reward viewers with more than the usual checkin rewards. For example, check in to every episode and get entered into a draw, merchandise discounts etc

GroupMe has been integrated into many of the Showtime series specific apps.

1/3 of the groups created around a season or series stay active until the next series begins. Allowing the creators to drip feed content to these groups keeping the interest alive.

GetGlue has over 2m active users, all conversing about their favorite shows. Similarities / differences between the two social apps on the panel. Interesting point that validates the view that people want to watch with people hey know is that for any sows they see not a few groups with thousands of users but thousands of groups with 20 or less users.

MTV, difference in user interaction between reality shows and scripted drama. Still early in the social tv space to make sense of the differences.

Where is the room, if any, for brands to enter this space? GetGlue working with brands in a way that they hope makes sense and also in a way they the viewers do not feel they are being sold to.
MTV trying not to engage too much with content during the shows. All effort concentrated on pre and post show engagement. Let the audience talk amongst themselves during the show.

Showtime has proprietary app that runs during each show with polls, live updates of cast, and guest stars info and then post show, opens to group discussion about shows, often with cast members in the chats etc.

MTV, Showtime, GetGlue & GroupMe, what do you look for in potential partnerships.

Question: how do you measure the success of the new platform you are working with

Question: what are the costs for these kind of initiatives

Question: how does the amount of users of the two platforms compare to the amount of people watching the show according to the ratings

Question: What do you do to increase social engagement for the people who do not watch live TV but recorded or time shifted

Question: what differences do you find in engaged audiences on different continents. Do you make site specific content to account for cultural differences or not

Question: is there a future in second screen or social TV or is it a fad?