NYT's - TV Industry Taps Social Media to Keep Viewers' Attention

written by: Richard Kastelein

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According to a piece in the New York Times today by Media Decoder Brian Stelter, Social TV experiments are a sudden priority in television land... as more and more people chat in real time about their favorite shows — on Facebook, Twitter and many others — television networks are now trying to figure out how to capitalize.

It's as if people are gathered around the online water cooler — and the television executives are nervously hovering nearby, hoping viewers keep talking and, by extension, watching their shows.

... It's not just television networks like ABC that are eager to wedge themselves into the two-screen experience. A wide range of Web sites, including People.com and NYTimes.com, are creating Web pages and apps meant to be viewed during the Oscars next Sunday.

Mark Golin, the editor of People Digital, said the People.com site would feature real-time trivia with a $10,000 grand prize. "We do a lot of run-up content in the days and weeks before" the Oscars, he said.

"We always have a big day after. So why not during the show?"

This is not surprising since both Wired Magazine and MIT Technology Review Note Social TV as a Game Changer in 2011

David Rowan, the Editor of Wired magazine has named Social TV at number three of six in his peek into 2011 and what tech trends to expect to get traction. Couple that with the MIT Technology Review tagging Social TV in the top 10 most important emerging technologies a few months ago and it seems we have both the tech press and academia in agreement. Social TV is a game changer - the intersection of TV and the Web will largely be driven by Social Media - it's natural. TV is inherently social - and Social Media is a conduit. Put them together in a workable, ergonomic way and the convergence will have impact.

Not to mention the CEO of Endemol, who said be there, or miss out.

"Everyone says that social television will be big. I think it's not going to be big — it's going to be huge," Ynon Kreiz, CEO of the Endemol group, the largest independent television production company in the world, told attendees at the Digital Life Design (DLD) conference this week.

"We think that social media meets television is the next big thing," he said. "The ability to create content that will enable people to interface with each other, to connect, to recommend, to share and experience over television, is going to change the landscape of the industry."

In fact, Kreiz encouraged people to "get up, leave this room" and run to their garages to get to work designing the future of social TV. "Whoever figures it out, will be the next Steve Jobs of this generation," he said.



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