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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.
From Wired Magazine:
3 - Social TV: The next billion televisions will be internet connected. That's going to turn TV viewing into a much more social experience -- with comments from your friends' tweets and Facebook updates not only adding instant feedback to real-time broadcasts, but also helping program your set to record the shows it thinks you are most likely to enjoy, based on what your friends enjoy. Steve Jobs is naturally hoping to dominate this revolution with his Apple TV device, but he'll face competition from the likes of Boxee, as well as new services such blinkbox and Starling.tv, which lets viewers chat, play and generally interact with one another while watching Mad Men. Farewell, then, linear TV -- and if you do know any schedulers, be nice as they scramble for new careers.
I must say, I am pleased he is putting Social TV on the map but I don't agree much with his view of how it's playing out and who is driving Social TV forward. Apple? Companies such as GetGlue, Philo, Miso and Tunerfish in the US market are much more tuned in to Social TV than Boxee and Blinkbox as well. And Starling.tv has seemingly gone off the radar with no press releases or much going on since mid 2010.
Lisa Lacy from Clickz.com wrote a solid analysis yesterday on the Check-in Social TV scene (Foursquare concept around TV shows):
GetGlue is arguably the 800-pound gorilla in this burgeoning space. Founded in 2007, it has raised $12 million from investors like Union Square Ventures, RRE Ventures and Time Warner Investments. It has 800,000 registered users and nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter. It also has a big lead in partners, having worked with 36 TV networks and film studios including HBO and Discovery.
But there are Davids to its Goliath. Philo, founded in 2009 and backed by North Bridge Venture Partners and DFJ Gotham, has “tens of thousands” of registered users, according to CEO David Levy. Miso, founded in 2010, just closed a $1.5-million Series A round from Google Ventures and Hearst Interactive Media and has nearly 100,000 registered users as well as a new partnership with Oprah Winfrey’s new network, OWN.
|Funding To Date||$12M||$1.5M+||Early stage, undisclosed|
|Investors||Union Square, RRE, Time Warner||Google Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media||North Bridge Venture Partners, DFJ Gotham|
|Number of Registered Users||800,000||Approaching 100,000||"Tens of Thousands"|
|Twitter Followers||Nearly 30,000||Nearly 6000||Nearly 600|
|Recent News||Coupon for Bob's Burgers on Fox||Deal with OWN||You Again promo deal|
But I do agree with Somrat Niyogi from Miso who surprisingly noted in the piece:
“No one has figured it out in this space,” Niyogi says. “The check-in is not it.”
Foursquare has some traction, but it will never reach Twitter or Facebook proportions. Nor will a TV Check-in App. I think more advanced game mechanics in the area of challenges, competitions and very deep and full integration with Twitter and Facebook is part of the area that 'needs to be figured out'. As well as recommending - a real recommendation engine - or strategy that works and easily allows the audience to share. Social TV is the EPG of the future in many ways. And that's what needs to be tapped into and figured out.