Social TV: The Major Players And What It Means For Marketers
- February 8th, 2012
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More and more Millennials are checking in to media events and TV shows. They already have their smartphones, tablets, and laptops nearby, chatting with their friends on social media about what they’re watching; checking in was the next logical step. According to Ypulse research, 32% of students had checked in to a TV show as of the middle of 2011.
As the activity grows in popularity, we’re here to fill you in on the major players and what social TV check ins mean for marketers. Some networks have created their own apps, such as MTV’s Watch With, but we’ve focused on general apps that work across all networks.
One of the first major players on the social TV scene, GetGlue has 2 million users and garned more than 100 million check ins in 2011. The app lets users check in to everything from movies to TV shows to music to books. The check-in process is simple; type in the media you’re using or find it on a list of trending shows, songs, etc. Like Foursquare, checking in earns badges. Some brands have partnered with GetGlue to offer rewards, such as discount coupons, free items, and sweepstake entries.
Once checked in, the app begins to show a stream of comments that others are saying about the show that’s on, making the whole watching experience more communal and interactive. Users can follow other users to find out what they’re into and discover new shows, bands, books, and more.
The newest app to make waves in the media world, Viggle launched in mid-January offering more tangible rewards for its users. During its Viggle Bowl event during the Super Bowl, it notched more than 1.4 votes on the halftime show alone. Viggle is specifically a TV check in app. Users can earn high point values for checking in to featured shows, and smaller point values for other shows. The Viggle check in process works like Shazam: tap the check in button on your screen and Viggle will listen to the sound emanating from your TV. Points aren’t rewarded automatically; it verifies that users watch a significant portion of the show.
Because it requires a little more of its users, Viggle’s rewards are pretty sweet — users can earn points toward gift cards to Starbucks, Burger King, Sephora, iTunes, and more, as well as subscriptions to Hulu Plus or free movie tickets. During its Viggle Bowl, users could answer trivia questions, rate the ads they watched, vote on who they thought would win, and more. They could earn thousands of points for their engagement and opinions.
Miso is another app that has been around for a little while. It’s check in system is similar to that of GetGlue, which allows you type in what you’re watching without verification. Along with connecting users with other fans, it connects them with bonus content. Nope, not video clips, but “SideShows,” that clue users in to the songs used in the show (with a link to Spotify); the fashion that the characters are wearing (with pricing info); quips, quizzes, and quotes to prompt comments; and more. Each slide can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter when users connect their accounts. Both fans and networks can create SideShows.
Miso has partnered with DirecTV, Boxee, and AT&T U-verse so that users of those services can sync its SideShows with the timing of the show instead of having to manually scroll.
What Does It Mean For Marketers?
Social TV can draw viewers into a deeper engagement with the show as they talk about it with other fans, encouraging them to come back regularly — to the show and the app — to “meet” with their friends to watch “together.” And viewers are more than happy to share their opinions, particularly if they know networks and brands are paying attention.
On the other hand, the apps can also serve as distractions if the shows and commercials aren’t enough to hold their attention. With their phone or other devices already in hand, it’s only a click or two to find other, more entertaining content online or via another app.