Tablets, smartphones and other second-screen devices, combined with customized content, interactive applications and loyalty programs, is now fueling the behavior of social TV consumers. The second screen user-base is rising rapidly and predicted to reach one billion by 2017.
Research indicates that 86% of Americans now use their phones while watching TV and 40% of consumers regularly use mobile apps while watching TV. This has made the massive transition of traditional TV viewing and streaming to mobile social TV ecosystem. Also the consumer trend says, over one-fourth of users ages 18–24 are interested in having more social features integrated into their TV-experience. The most desired social experience was in multiplayer games, though a close second was to chat with others who were watching the same program. Generation Y, those currently 18–28 years old, have been found to actually access the internet more often than they watch television. Forty-two percent of the members of this generation access an Internet video at least monthly.
Under this emerging ecosystem, white-labeled social TV platforms such as PlayAlong, LiveHive Systems and Ex Machina’s PlayToTV have also emerged allowing TV networks and operators to offer branded social TV applications. On the ratings front, companies have emerged to measure the social media activities tied to specific TV telecasts. Companies such as YouTube, Zeebox, & Groovy is also providing digital streaming devices and Netflix, GetGlue emerged as independent mobile TV broadcasters. Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter are influencing mostly the social interaction aspects of the TV experience.
The traditional TV broadcasters are increasingly adopting the social applications of TV connected with social networking site and that is the future of TV. The commerce issue is also now integrated to social experience as brands are increasingly getting interested in offering consumer social TV time with meaningful advertising on second screen space.
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