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In May 2010, Social TV was named one of the 10 most important emerging technologies by the MIT Technology Review, because it builds on relationships already established in Social Media Websites like Facebook and Twitter to rebuild fragmented TV audiences.
Facebook alone, with over 500 million active users, is approaching US$1.1 billion revenue in 2010. Many consumers are using Social Media to connect with entertainment, like movies and TV, thereby creating the new product category called "Social TV"- the extension of Social Media through the simultaneous use of a tablet or smartphone while watching TV.
Already, Nielsen has reported that 59% of U.S. Internet users browse the Internet and watch TV simultaneously. Currently, Social TV is best with a second-screen device—like a PC, iPad or smartphone-—because it allows for greater personalization and interactivity.
"Social TV is about bringing social back into TV," said Jose Alvear, MRG IPTV Senior Analyst. "TV has always been a social medium, but personal video devices and multiple TVs in the home have made it less social. Today, Social TV is making it easy for consumers to get social with TV again."
Social TV's benefits for Content Owners, Consumers, Service Providers and Advertisers include driving up TV-ratings, rewarding consumers for watching a program, increasing brand engagement and creating new advertising opportunities. The report highlights the leading Social TV Vendors and Platforms, possible business models, and actual case studies from major entertainment brands and TV shows around the world. It also includes detailed opportunities, risks and recommendations for Cable/Telco Operators, Advertisers and Content Owners.
Social TV Vendors include: Clicker, ClipSync, GetGlue, Hot Potato, KickFour, MediaFriends, Miso, Orca Interactive, Philo, Starling, Tank Top TV, Tunerfish, tvChatter and Vloop. Operators featured include AT&T, Comcast, France Telecom, Google TV, Verizon and Virgin Media. Analytics involving "tweets," "comments," "trends," and "likes" are also discussed.
Editor's Note: You can also download the Appmarket.tv Social TV report for free here.