Social TV: Potential for Discovery, Targeting

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Btr Feature Art Tv 10 30 12In the quest to help consumers sort through and discover the myriad content available to them, social TV could pan out to be another method to help the madness. By tying Facebook, for example, into the viewing experience, consumers can be alerted to what their friends are currently watching, and also to content they have recommended.

The idea, however, is to allow the viewing to occur within the social app itself, not just have the two occur side-by-side, said Amir Eilat, VP product marketing at Tvinci. All social activity could be taken into account when promoting specific content. Instead of watching a show on television and browsing on a tablet, consumers would be able to log into an app on their iPad, for example, be presented with recommended content, choose a program, and watch it either on the device or send it to their big screen.

"This is not only on par with algorithmic base recommendations, but it also is much more," Eilat said. "It exposes you immediately to the amount of likes the general public has given content and access to the likes your friends have given."

By utilizing the viewer's own social media, the service provider can target content to individual consumers, not just households. "(Their) persona is the same which they have on social networking," Eilat said.

Consumers can be rewarded for recommendations. If a viewer likes a program and a friend picks it up, for example, some sort of benefit could be given in the form of a coupon, a discount or a points program. "When you add TV (to social media), you get a whole new level ... of rewarding your customer for loyalty and activities," Eilat said.

Targeted advertising also would be a possibility. "Everything becomes more ... interesting when you introduce real people and real interest groups," Eilat said.

Anonymity could be preserved, while information is derived from social usage. Advertisements potentially could be targeted to groups watching specific content, Eilat said.

Monta Monaco Hernon is a free-lance writer. She can be reached at mcmhern@yahoo.com.
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