BuzzFeed Partners with Bravo and IFC to Launch Social Tune In Program

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed, the popular list-driven social news site, recently announced that NBC Universal’s Bravo and AMC’s IFC networks are the first two partners for their Social Tune In Program. This program will allow advertisers to cross-promote their content on BuzzFeed as well as their own websites. According to BuzzFeed, the Tune In Program will create “a full circle TV, social and digital program for advertisers.”

BuzzFeed president and COO Jon Steinberg said, “Everyone talks about the two-screen experience being synchronous but it is also asynchronous. People learn about the shows they want to watch online, and after watching those shows, they go back to the web to read and share about those shows.”

In connection with the Social Tune In Program, IFC has created a recurring on-air Saturday night ‘BuzzFeed Block,’ which is a double-feature bill of movies accompanied by accompanying lists exclusively created for IFC by BuzzFeed and available on both of their websites.

According to IFC, the ‘BuzzFeed Block’ has helped the network increase viewership on Saturday nights by 16% in the 18-49 and 18-34 age groups in the first quarter of 2014. Bravo has used the program to promote the “Online Dating Rituals for the American Male” on BuzzFeed as well as the “Real Housewives Awards.” With such positive results already, it is obvious the Social Tune In Program is working and will likely continue to grow with new partnerships to come.

 

 

 

 

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Are Social TV Companies on their way to extinction?

Peel, which may have started as a Social TV company, is now focusing its efforts on its smart remote technology. Peel’s smartRemote technology turns smartphones and tablets into universal remotes.

Initially, Peel had a goal of creating a premier second-screen companion that fosters conversations about TV on social networks. But now, according to its CEO and co-founder, Thiru Arunchalam, Peel doesn’t consider itself a social TV company. In fact, he believes that social TV companies are on their way to extinction:

“We don’t see ourselves as a social TV company. Twitter has won the battle and social TV companies are either dead or dying. We are a smart remote technology.  We believe we provide the best, most comprehensive smart remote experience of anyone in the market. We work with more devices, more MSOs and have aggregated more TV listings globally than any other company. That is why Samsung, HTC, ZTE and many more to be announced in the near future, have preloaded Peel on their IR-enabled phones and tablets.”

Peel’s strategic efforts in the smart remote space is exemplified through its partnership with Samsung and HTC. The Samsung Galaxy S5, released earlier this month, is preloaded with a smart remote app powered by Peel’s technology. Additionally, HTC products are preloaded with “Sense TV,” an app also powered by Peel.

Peel’s initiative to be the smart remote leader is proving successful thus far. The company currently has more than 58 million activations across the globe, handling 3 billion remote control commands each month. If Peel continues to sustain this competitive strategy, they will prove sustainable in the long term.

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.

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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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

Colbert

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:

https://twitter.com/ColbertReport/status/449395265251078144

https://twitter.com/ColbertReport/status/449406887306731520

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.

Juan Pablo: Now Famous as the Worst Bachelor of All Time

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As this season of The Bachelor came to a close, fans were shocked by Juan Pablo’s arrogant actions during the final rose episode and the follow-up with host Chris Harrison.

Clare told Chris Harrison and viewers that Juan Pablo  said something sexually-based and offensive to her during their helicopter ride in St. Lucia. Outraged, Clare addressed the issue with him but then gave him another chance. Afterwards, Juan Pablo discussed future plans with Clare, and the possibility of having children with her.

Yet, during the Final Rose ceremony the following day, Juan Pablo chose contestant Nikki, shocking and upsetting Clare. Despite questionable actions throughout the season, Clare finally gained fans’ respect when she gave him a piece of her mind:

“I saved this moment for the man of my dreams. I thought that was you. I thought I knew what kind of man you were…I’ve lost respect for you…I’ll tell you what. I thought I knew what kind of man you were. What you just made me go through — I would never want my children having a father like you.”

During “After the Final Rose”, Clare  spoke with host Chris Harrison about Juan Pablo’s behavior. Chris Harrison claimed he was never as frustrated with other bachelors in the history of the show and he was appalled by Juan Pablo’s refusal to tell Nikki that he loves her, his disrespect of Clare, and the refusal to give straight answers to any questions pertaining to the relationship or future plans:

“Help me help you. I’m trying to make you look better…Come up with an articulate thought about this woman next to you who has pledged her devotion to you”.

Previous seasons’ bachelors and contestants were equally disgusted by Juan Pablo’s personality and arrogance, and fans have taken to Twitter to express their feelings:

As fans, producers, contestants, and Bachelor/Bachelorette veterans were all dismayed by Juan Pablo’s behavior throughout the season, we can only guess that winner Nikki will not be able to put up with his refusal to commit or tell her he loves her. Fans and producers can only hope that next season’s bachelorette Andi Dorfman will have a much better outcome than Juan Pablo.

Bill Maher Wants to Flip Your District

FlipADistrict

While Bill Maher does very little to hide his contempt towards conservative politicians on air, the comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher is taking his agenda a step further during this year’s midterm elections– Maher is asking his viewers to nominate their congressional district to be flipped.

“This year, we are going to be entering into the exciting world of outright meddling with the political process,” Maher said in a post on his blog. The plan has two steps — the first involves selecting the congressman through a poll of the top viewer created social media entries using the hashtag #flipadistric, which will be followed by weekly bashing of that politician on Maher’s show. The contest is not limited to only Republicans, although it is difficult to imagine Maher’s viewers selecting anyone but a conservative incumbent.

This is the first ever attempt by a celebrity activist to use social media platforms to rile up their base and try to instill real political change. Maher’s ambitious tactics could set precedent, however, a failed attempt could backlash just as easily. While Maher’s social media presence is nothing to be scoffed at (he has over 2 million Facebook fans), the forces at play in a single congressional district may be too large to overcome even for the outspoken personality that Maher is. If nothing else, this campaign shows that the power of social media, television, and celebrities is greater now than ever.

Social Media Matchup– Jay Leno Farewell vs. Jimmy Fallon Debut

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno came to an end after 22 seasons last week, and with the end of an era came the start of a new one with the debut of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Jay Leno’s farewell show on February 6th reached 14.64 million viewers and Fallon’s debut reached 11.31 million. While both episodes are the two most viewed Tonight Show episodes, which one accumulated more social buzz?

According to NielsonSocial Guide, and reported by Mashable, Fallon attracted more buzz on Twitter than did his predecessor. Roughly 79,900 unique accounts sent 157,600 tweets that night, amounting to 15.6 million Twitter impressions (number of tweets seen). This was much higher than Leno’s last episode which garnered 79,400 tweets from 52,400 accounts resulting in 9.9 million impressions. While the disparity could be related to the impressive list of big stars Fallon brought on for his first episode, it could also be due to the differing audiences which the comedians attract. Fallon draws a much younger crowd which is known to be more active via social media and therefore could result in the higher number of tweets and impressions.

Fallon’s most popular segment on the opening episode, “$100 Tonight Show Bet” can be seen in the clip below.