Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ratings With Attitude On SocialTV

The term “social TV” is a bit of a misnomer. In these early stages of “social TV” we tend to conceive of that online conversation around media as somehow a single entity unified by the technology platform. However, the myriad of perspectives and attitudes is closer to the types of cliques you find among teenage groups. TV media has always been social, with the filter of friends, family, parties. Twitter didn’t make TV social. But even more than giving us the opportunity to pull media on-demand, social TV allows us to create a context on-demand by surrounding ourselves with the audience with whom we most want to watch a program and tailor a media environment to our liking.  And to a greater extent than ever before, the viewer has the ability to enhance the experience by tweaking the audience. By opening the doors to the crowd they want to hear, the viewer can look for the complementary, supportive, contrarian, irreverent voices they desire. They can filter the streams to highlight the voices and attitudes they want and craft themselves a virtual audience of the like-minded. That opens up some interesting new possibilities for Rainmakers and their sponsors. What if media companies started providing virtual social audiences along with its content? What if content developers assembled niches of like-minded viewing audience subsets? Imagine what kinds of targeting could go on at this level and the impact on conversions of targeting a viewing audience who self-identified with just the right angle, taste or attitude of the watched show? It's not that farfetched. Once the social sphere becomes an optional part of the media experience, it could change the way media companies think about themselves as both content and context providers. And this would not only enrich the viewing experience for media consumers, but also offer "gold level" targeting for brands.

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