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Move over Neilson in US and BARB in UK... Facebook's sheers numbers, 1.65 billion likes of TV shows is indicative of where audience measurement systems are going. Target audience numbers are dead. Agencies and brands? It's going to be a love-hate relationship. Better audience measurement due to a combination of social recommendations and IP analytics means better targetting, but it also means more work in drilling down on the voluminous data. Ad rates are set to go through the grinder and make it all a lot more complex for a lot of people. The old Brand-Agency-Broadcaster-Audience value chain is going to be a lot more complex.. and much harder work.
But this is all playing out like fulltime Research Scientist of Social TV at MIT Marie-Jose Montpetit predicted long ago in a ground-breaking report from her research back in 2008. Her colleague Henry Holtzman and student Mariana Baca developed a Facebook TV application at the MIT Media Lab in 2008 which essentially enabled the DVR to communicate with Facebook so that users can see what their friends are watching and their ratings with a real-time chat application for shared viewing and she mentioned Facebook as a recommendation medium and social EPG.
...Sites like Facebook and MySpace have been complementing operator services with features like movie recommendations for the last few years, but in a loosely-coupled way. Consumers discover content through their online communities, and then turn on the TV and interface with the EPG (electronic program guide). Although the process can be more synchronous than the water cooler scenario, it is a technically separate process.
Inside Facebook noted on the Likes:
At the TV of Tomorrow conference today in San Francisco, Facebook’s Director of Media Partnerships Justin Osofsky revealed that 275 million users have Liked a TV show on Facebook. Those that have Like an average of six shows, which means there’s been roughly 1.65 billion Likes of TV shows. 17 of the 100 most Liked Pages represent TV shows.
These statistics indicate that TV studios should consider increasing their marketing efforts on Facebook to take advantage of the organic interest in Liking Pages of TV shows. Through Pages, they can strengthen fan loyalty, increase viewership, and sell merchandise.
Inside Facebook Image
And this paragraph is absolutely nuts:
Some shows with popular Pages aren’t utilizing their enormous fan bases, though. For example, the Page for character Dr. House of the Fox show House has 19.9 million Likes and is growing at nearly a million Likes a month, but hasn’t posted any content since April 2010
Talk about missed opportunities... this just shows how social media illiterate the castle-dwelling, old school, media behemoths can be. Crazy.
Cory Bergman over at Lost Remote also had some brilliant insight:
...Facebook is a huge distribution and promotional platform for TV shows — if producers put in the effort to engage the community. Facebook’s recent move to allow content owners to charge for online rentals — using Facebook credits — only amplifies the message.
The more Facebook users like TV shows, the better it positions Facebook to enable the next-generation program guide. After all, a like is a recommendation, and many TV shows today are discovered via social recommendations and word-of-mouth. “Social Program Guides” like Clicker are tapping the Facebook social graph — tied to TV schedules — to recommend what to watch. As time goes on, these guides will span the web, mobile devices, tablets, set tops and TV sets.
At some point soon, a critical mass of people will like and tweet about TV shows, and social guides will hit a tipping point. Facebook will power recommendations, and Twitter will power trends. Netflix, Hulu and Xbox’s start screens will be transformed into smart, social recommendations. Traditional TV guides will disappear forever, and suddenly getting traction on Facebook and Twitter will determine whether a show is highlighted on the “home page” experience of any given social guide. Suddenly, ROI is very tangible.
All this is great news for Facebook and Twitter, which were recently called “power brokers for the global television industry.” Stay tuned…
He's right. The EPG of the future, the audience measurement systems, the way audiences find and consume television is going to radically change - particulary when hundreds of channels become thousands due to the intersection of TV and the Internet via connected TV, IPTV, STBs, game consoles and other OTT solutions that will crack the traditional value chain and democratise the space - allowing indy producers, app developers, gaming companies and UGC to enter the realm and challenge the traditional role that broadcasters have had as content curatorion Gods of the living room and the big screen. Expect niche to become the norm - like the music industry as tastes diverge into a mass of genres and the idea of a one box-fits-all cable offering with a few hundred channels finds itself not meeting consumer demand for diversity and taste.
Let me leave you with a quote from Head of Endemol International, Ynon Kreiz:
“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.
With billions of dollars already flowing through the TV ecosystem — and new televisions coming equipped with wireless internet connectivity — Kreiz said it’s only a matter of time before the social space explodes.
“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.