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This is only good news for those in the space. Last year we had the UK's Wired Magazine tagging Social TV as a top trend for 2011, and MIT's Technology Review lauded Social TV's matriarch, Marie-Jose Montpetit's work as invited scientist of Social TV at MIT as well as labelling Social TV as a top emerging trend.
But 2011 was still a growth year - we saw a huge spike in startups and much more coverage in the mainstream media on the topic. 2012 is a make or break year where we will very likely see more consolidation as well as failure and success in the market.
From the HBR:
For many of us, watching television is already a social act, whether it's talking to the person next to you, or texting, tweeting, and calling friends about what you're watching. But television is about to become a social experience in a bigger and broader sense. The X Factor now allows voting via Twitter and highlights other social promotions, which encourages viewers to tap social networks while they watch. Another way media consumption is becoming social comes from a network called Get Glue which acts as something of a Foursquare for media. Participants can "check-in" to their favorite shows (or other forms of media) and collect stickers to tell the world what programs they love. Watch for more of this this year as ratings rise for socially integrated shows.
Social TV and the iPad Transform the Boob Tube
Like other parts of the entertainment industry, social and digital are changing the way television is made, watched and broadcast. In 2011, social TV really started to come into its own. From the rise of entertainment checkin services like GetGlue and Miso, to integrated social and digital campaigns from networks and stars, social sites like Twitter and Facebook have become the real-time watercooler for discussing and disseminating content.
The result is that even though television ownership is on the decline, live television ratings are actually on the rise. It’s becoming increasingly important for viewers to watch a program as it happens, in order to interact with each other in real-time.
The concept of social TV wouldn’t work if the network and content creators weren’t on board. One of the biggest surprises of 2011 has been the extent to which networks and studios have embraced social TV, particularly using second screen apps. We can thank the iPad for that. The iPad and its success proved to leery network executives that engaging with viewers on multiple platforms was a necessity.
Moving into 2012, social TV campaigns will evolve and become more mature. It’s our hope that we can move to the next level, where social interaction becomes part of the show content itself.