With Microsoft’s new release of the Xbox One, a lot of conversation has been going back and forth about social TV and what it means for the future of television watching. But what is social TV? Why does that term matter? Why is it better (or worse) than the TV experience we have currently? Below are the reasons why social media integration will enhance the experience of television watching:
1. Closer to 100% Interactivity: at some point, down the road, television will be a full back and forth with the viewer. Decisions, routes of plot, episode sharing, etc. will all be standard practice. With Xbox One (and many to follow) harnessing social TV as a main leveraging point for its system, it is encouraging the market to shift its viewing experience in this direction – getting closer to a 100% interactivity conversion.
2. The 3rd dimension of television will be filled… by the viewer: this is the obvious “marketable” piece of the puzzle, and tv networks, like Bravo, are already well on their way with this strategy. Making the viewer a part of the show, a contributor, a sayer in what should happen, is an essential in keeping up. It is a win-win for both the show, network and the viewer. This is the duh! for social tv strategy.
3. Advertising will expand its reach: Yep. Advertisers now have another place to plug what they want to say. Do we want this? To be honest, I’m not sure. I always support advertising if it is creative and has the market in mind (genuinely). That being said, this probably wouldn’t be the case for 75% of advertisers on social tv platforms. I’d be afraid of countless push advertisements that serve no real purpose.
4. You won’t know it’s happening: if something is shifting, especially something as monumental as a global common experience, the way you know it is working is if it rarely comes up. Large movements and shifts that are done well ease the market into a way of experiencing; they don’t cut a hard turn and hope for the best. It’s that moment you realize “oh damn, I am skyping while I am watching Netflix“? Yes, that very epiphany is what every marketer dreams of, but I can assure you, we aim to make experiences better, not worse.
So, start expecting a lot more conversation about social tv and its impact on various future experiences. But, once you cut through all the fluff, notice the genuine pros and cons of what the experience is and how it can benefit (or not benefit) that experience. Lots of conversation surrounding this will be “big idea speak” so hone in on the points that are concise and piercing because those tend to be the ones that make the most sense.
Don’t go too far either, the next piece coming will be the flip-side to these points. Because with every positive comes a negative, right?