Zeebox Social TV App Relaunches as Beamly

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The UK based Social TV App, Zeebox, has recently rebranded and relaunched their website, and iOS and Android apps under the new name of Beamly. Originally launched in 2011, Beamly wanted to change from being seen as a geeky TV guide app to a co-viewing experience that would allow users to follow and discuss their favorite TV shows and celebrities all day long.

Currently with 2 million active users, Zeebox’s original features, such as the live chat and screen sync functions, will remain. The additional new features allow for many more interactions, making Beamly more of a social network based around television interests. Users will now have access to news feeds and social media topics about their favorite TV shows, and they will be able to follow their favorite TV shows and celebrities at any time.  Co-founder and CFO Anthony Rose explained, “We had a dream which was to create participation TV… One day we realized that people perceived Zeebox as a new type of TV guide rather than a co-viewing experience. So in the last six months we’ve set about transitioning from model one, which was essentially that synchronized Twitter playalong experience, to a fully fledged social network for television.”

With the relaunch, Beamly is able to adapt to the vast changes that are occurring in TV viewing. Along with the changing trends of TV viewer habits, there is also the change in audience that Beamly has seen with their users. According to Rose, once users were allowed to follow shows, they were using the app twice as often, and once shows were allowed to follow them back, users were returning ten times as often. This feeling of a community attracted a lot of females and transformed Beamly’s users from a group of geeky men to a diverse audience, that is now mostly 16-24 year old females in the US.

By being able to adapt so well to the constantly changing TV viewing habits, Beamly will be sure to increase their user base and shake that geeky image that they previously had.

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An EKG for Twitter and TV

95% of Social TV engagement happens on Twitter. Twitter has identified key opportunities for marketers to take advantage of the platform. These key opportunities include:

  • The power of hashtags
  • Integrating Twitter presence into TV ads
  • Live tweeting during popular programming

How can marketers track the effectiveness of twitter campaigns? It is necessary for TV program marketers to understand when tweeting about TV programming most popular. The infographic below explains.

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TV + Live Music = Heightened Social Experience

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Live music broadcasts on television are experiencing a serious comeback, with viewers and sponsors eager to tap into the action. In the past decade, popularity of such broadcasts was declining, especially among young viewers. Recently however, live music events have pulled in massive live, at home, and digital audiences. Some recent examples of such broadcasts that have influenced conversations on social platforms include the Grammy Awards and the Beatles 50th Anniversary.
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This year, the Grammy Awards was viewed by over 28 million people, one of the best showings in decades. The Grammy’s is the second most viewed of award shows, next to The Oscars, and garnered over 34 million social media interactions, a record setting accomplishment in the 2013-2014 season social events, according to SocialGuide.

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“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America- A GRAMMY Salute” celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The performance by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr was legendary and was accompanied by guest performances and presentations by Maroon 5, Alicia Keys and John Legend, David Letterman, Brad Paisley and Pharrell Williams, and Stevie Wonder (among others) making it a live music event that will go down in history. The broadcast created a lot of chatter on social media, especially on Twitter, with performers sharing sneak peaks and audience members anticipating and applauding the show.

The buzz around live music airings has established these shows as prime air time for sponsors and advertisers, who are willing to allocate large portions of their budgets to these broadcasts because of the escalated live viewer engagement — CBS charged advertisers as much as $1 million for a 30-second spot during the Grammys. Music is the most-discussed topic on Twitter in America, and advertisers are aware that leveraging these audiences has the potential to receive unparalleled reach.

Brands are eager to cash in on live music experiences, as research has found that live music audiences are more receptive of advertisements and sponsors than audiences at sporting events, charity events, and art exhibitions. This broadcast genre has infinite capacity, as there is always audience appetite, and hence social engagement.

“The nature of live television and those types of events, it’s the time, it’s the moments that people don’t want to miss,” notes SocialGuide. “That’s the beauty of social … [it] allows you to engage in real time and share that excitement with that larger audience. It’s in the moment, the ability to share in the moment. You know, once the awards are announced, the awards are announced.”

For more information on other live TV music broadcasts and their influence on social platforms, check out Gabirel Beltrone’s piece in AdWeek.

New stats on social TV & the second-screen experience

One in six primetime television viewers use social media simultaneously, whether it is related to the show that they are watching or not. A recent study by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) sampled 1,665 respondents in late 2013 and found radical increases in social TV statistics from a study carried out earlier in 2013 by Deloitte. The CRE study focused on second screen behavior and the sharp increase in using social media while viewing TV programs forecasts an even steeper rise in 2014.

The info-graphic below portrays a breakdown of these users activities. Of the 16% of television audience using social media at the same time, about half (7%) is engaging in social media related to the programming that they are watching. There are actually more viewers who are engaging in non-show related social media.

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This report found that Facebook is the primary platform used in the second-screen social media experience, almost doubling the frequency of Twitter in the behavior. However, Twitter is the leading platform for program related, second-screen social engagement. A study in early 2013 found that more than 90% of online conversations about TV are on Twitter.

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Despite the rising presence of social media in the TV viewing experience, traditional TV promotions are still more influential and effective in recommending new shows to viewers than social media ads.

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Could Instagram Surpassing Twitter for Mobile Users Increase Social TV Competition?

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This past week Instagram surpassed Twitter for having the most mobile users according to data from eMarketer. This news is extremely important for social TV as Twitter continues to be the number one social platform for TV viewers. Twitter has about 30.8 million users while Instagram now has 35 million and does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

According to a study done by the Council for Research Excellence, 1 out of 6 primetime TV viewers are using social media and about one half of their social media activity is related to programming they are watching. Additionally, social media was more than twice as effective at driving viewers to new shows than returning shows. This data along with Instagram overtaking Twitter in mobile users is incredibly important for TV executives to think about. Twitter continues to be the leading social media site that TV shows use, both in and out of season, to communicate with their fans. As consumers become more mobile-minded, social strategies will need to change to keep up with shifting platform usage.

 

Out of Context, Out of Line

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What happens when the public takes a tweet out of context and begins a crowdsourced effort to unseat a late-night television host from his throne? The answer: #CancelColbert.

The official twitter account for The Colbert Report, which is not run by Mr. Colbert himself, tweeted the following yesterday:

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Although the tweet was quickly deleted, much of the internet was abuzz calling the Comedy Central host racist. In a swift attempt to diffuse the situation, Mr. Colbert reassured his fans that this in fact was not him:

The @ColbertReport account, run by Comedy Central, corroborated Colbert’s account:

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Although the comment itself was in fact making fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder some reacted in a rage, calling for the cancellation of the popular late-night program. The most vocal advocate was Suey Park who formerly organized and popularized the #NotYourAsianSidekick social campaign.

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The hashtag trended for a few hours and sparked a debate between those seeing the tweet as racist, and Colbert loyalists who pointed out the tweet was taken well out of context. Regardless of which side your on the power of social media was full force last night. And once again, it showed us that when everyone talks nobody listens.

50% of Tweets are Related to Sports

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Since Twitter was first introduced in 2006, the social network has become the first choice outlet for anyone who wants to engage online while watching TV. People are constantly “live tweeting” various TV specials, whether it be the newest episode of Scandal, or the Oscars. But one genre that seems to engage Twitter users far more than any other is sports.

According to data recently released from Nielson Twitter TV Ratings, an astounding 50% of all tweets about TV in North America were related to sporting events in 2013. Sports comprised 12 out of the 20 most tweeted-about TV broadcasts last year and Nielsen suggests that “this high level of engagement around sports events is significant as teams, programmers and advertisers look to reach and amplify messaging to audiences across screens.”

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This study comes just in time for March Madness, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that started this past week. For the first time ever the semi-final round will be shown on cable TV, making this a huge opportunity for marketers everywhere as March Madness generates the most TV ad revenue over all other pro sport league’s postseason broadcasts.

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And while sporting events attract conversation from fans all over the world, broadcasters and advertisers alike will need to find clever and interesting ways to join the conversation and continue to drive engagement.

Is Targeted Marketing Entering Mass Media?: Addressable TV

Direct to consumer marketing has become increasingly personalized since the introduction of Google ads and Facebook banners. Based on browsing history, surfers see more of what they want. Despite the growing personalization in online marketing, mass media hasn’t yet capitalized on this trend, but with the introduction of an emerging technology, Addressable TV, this may all change before our eyes.

Addressable TV allows advertisers to target commercials to specific home television sets. The service is specifically targeted at insurance companies and political campaigns, and can help marketers run more efficient campaigns. Broadcast companies are expected to charge a higher per viewer rate for the increased precision afforded to advertisers.

Chauncey McLean, Chief Officer of Analytics Media Group, believes that this enhanced feature will attract advertisers. “Addressable TV is a powerful tool for those that are equipped to use it.  If [they] know who [they] want to talk to and what [they] want to say, [they] can be much more precise”.

The Democratic National Committee employed targeted marketing through direct mail and door-to-door visits during the last gubernatorial campaign, helping Virginia Governor Terry Mcauliffe win that election. The opportunity for targeted TV advertising for political campaigns may emerge as early as the 2016 presidential election.

We can only wonder what the future will bring to political advertising, but as this emerging technology continues to evolve, the marketing implications for TV advertising as a whole are astronomical. While the introduction of this innovation may bring about major changes in election polling, we can only wonder when it will be employed to advertise consumer goods, and if and when it may become too personal and too invasive.

How Social is Sochi?

Whether or not you are actually watching the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, we have all seen tweets from our friends, instagrams from athletes being stuck in bathrooms and elevators, and updates on the news about wins, losses, tinder, and #SochiProblems. The Olympics are a social TV event, not just surrounding the actual competition, but also for brands and athletes. The infographic below from Offerpop displays engagement with Olympic promotions and social conversations about Sochi.

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Is the Fading Charm of a Disrespectful Homophobe Hurting “The Bachelor”?

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The premise of ABC’s “The Bachelor” is for one man to find love from a group of contestants who apply from around the country. This season stars Juan Pablo, a 32-year old single father to daughter Camila. While in previous seasons, viewers have fallen in love with the bachelor, Juan Pablo has raked in more hatred than allure.

Charged by Bachelor viewers as a homophobe, Juan Pablo was quoted as saying that a gay or bisexual man should not be featured as the bachelor because he “[doesn’t] think it’s a good example for kids to watch that on TV” and added that “they’re more perverts, in a sense”.  Bloggers and tweeters were rampant with commentary about this bachelor’s speech. Some conversationalists called the show’s premise, and Juan Pablo’s participation in it, a bad example to kids, as they should not be watching this show at all. The Huffington Post and entertainment publications on the Internet flooded Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter home pages with outraged fans, as some re-tweeted articles with their own commentary:

A self-declared dedicated father, Juan Pablo’s homophobic, derogatory comments are not his only despicable attribute making fans wonder why exactly anyone still wants to be his true love. While the show’s premise may seem innocent enough at first glance, the way that Juan Pablo conducts himself on the show is certainly not.  Sean Hayes and his sweetheart  Catherine from the previous season would not live together before their marriage, vowing traditional values, an admirable trait. On the other end of the spectrum, Juan Pablo has been anything but wholesome, as he gets very close to many of the women on this season, outraging and deterring fans.

Last week, Juan Pablo got particularly intimate with contestant Clare, and then shamed and ignored her in the following episode. This behavior has further angered fans, and leaves them wondering when exactly all of the fandom and fascination with this hunky Venezuelan will end.

Embarrassing ABC by his remarks, and degrading women left and right, Juan Pablo’s commentary was denounced by ABC and the production company. While negative opinions about Clare have faded, we can rely on Juan Pablo to continue to disappoint and offend with each new episode.

Sources:

http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/bachelors-juan-pablo-ab-having-homophobe.html

http://jezebel.com/everyone-hates-bachelor-juan-pablo-1515802741

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/11/juan-pablo-has-ruined-the-bachelor.html