SO MONDAY

April 14, 2014

Does Twitter make TV better?

Media scientist Deb Roy has told audiences at the MIPTV conference in Cannes that Twitter and TV are “a shared synchronised social experience”.

“The biggest, most pervasive medium ever invented – television – is being intertwined with a global social medium, Twitter,” said Roy. “Twitter makes television better: it is in fact a force multiplier that can enhance the impact and possibilities of television.”

Roy gave some examples of TV shows and events that have sparked conversation on Twitter, including this year’s Oscars awards, when more than 5m people sent 19m tweets that were seen by 37m people.

Can Facebook keep up? It seems not. Twitter is working with research firms like Nielsen to pursue strategies of involving broadcasters with data indicating that Twitter buzz can persuade more people to tune in.

Millennials tuned in to social TV and multitasking

Research by Deloitte reported that 86% of US consumers flipped between tasks while watching the telly – further research from The Council for Research Excellence/Keller Fay Group also found that Millennials were the age group most likely to engage with social media while watching TV. Those engaged with TV and social media were identified to be particularly, older Millennials; 9.6% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they used social media while viewing primetime TV.

Younger Millennials ranked second after their older counterparts, those ages 15 to 24, with 9.2% using social media at the same time.

Xbox co-funds first UK TV drama

Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing a sci-fi series called Humans, based on the Swedish series Real Humans. This is the first time games a console maker has partnered with a UK broadcaster to co-fund a major series.

The eight part drama series will be produced by Kudos, maker of The Hour, Broadchurch, Utopia and The Tunnel. It will air on C4 in the UK and via Xbox in North America.

 Social and email are equal for conversation volume

The latest IPA TouchPoints5 data has been released, concluding that we now have as many conversations through social media as via email; 12% of all daily conversations occur through each medium. The research also found that 49% of all adults use mobile phones for activities other than texting or talking, doing so on average for 1 hour 30 minutes per day. Unsurprisingly, younger users were more mobile: 78% of 18-24s use their phone for activities other than texting/talking; they do so for an average of 1 hour 52 minutes a day.

The Sun – first newspaper to introduce hashtags to their hardcopy version

While nearly every newspaper, if not all, now have an online presence, The Sun is going one step further by bridging the gap between their loyal print readers and their online readership.

Each day in the printed paper, a selection of hashtags will be published alongside particular stories where the readers will be asked to continue the conversation by giving their thoughts online using the hashtag ‘what do you think?’

It is clear to see that The Sun is making a concerted effort to drive traffic to their paid-for online content which has so far struggled to rival the success of their upmarket counterparts.

YouTube pushing stars with TV adverts

YouTube is planning a TV ad campaign in the US to promote some of its biggest stars, after agencies requested a further push to merit their clients’ ad spend. The adverts will feature three YouTube celebrities with over one million subscribers each: make-up artist Michelle Phan, beauty/fashion vlogger Bethany Mota and baker Rosanna Pansino. YouTube is also extending the campaign to Rovio’s Angry Birds mobile game with rich-media ads pointing to one of the YouTube stars’ channel.

Britain also has a growing cadre of young YouTube stars reaching mass audiences. Twins Finn and Jack Harries are good examples: their JacksGap YouTube channel has 3.4 million subscribers, with their latest show documenting a rickshaw ride across India.

Gamer Joseph Garrett has 2.3 million subscribers – many of them kids – for his Stampylonghead channel, with its daily videos of a virtual cat exploring the Minecraft game. He’s now spinning off a new education channel.

Twitter redesigns profiles

New Twitter profiles are here, with a brand-new, yet oddly familiar, look as Twitter looks to help users show who they really are. (The new design is rolling out slowly, unless you’re a celebrity or a new user). This new design is more visually appealing and definitely aimed at attracting more users to the platform.

All the elements on the page are ‘big’, from the Twitter profile picture to the full-width header image and, of course, tweets. They get larger depending on their popularity (tweets that have seen more retweets, replies or favourites). One of the new Twitter profile’s most exciting features is the ability to pin a tweet. Now you can click on the little More menu in every tweet and select “Pin to your profile page” so that everyone will see that tweet first.

To get an idea of these new profiles, check out @ZacEfron, @flotus or @JohnLegend

Twitter’s new Own The Moment planning tool

The #OwnTheMoment tool contains a number of events that Twitter deems worthy of creating conversation around. I don’t know whether these are based on past or predicted volumes of conversation, but Twitter is pointing to these isolated moments as thought-starters for conversation planning. They will have most likely distributed this tool to clients and agencies, meaning that now everyone will be planning to capitalise on the same conversations. And that means that it will be a very crowded marketplace as everyone competes to own the real-time conversation. In reality, we need to plan for the process so that when you spot something that others aren’t seeing you can move quickly and champion your own conversation.

Kids are causing the biggest changes in TV

The average six- to 14-year-old in the UK still spends 10.4 hours a week watching linear TV, according to research firm Dubit. But the growth of tablets is startling: the percentage of children with access to a tablet at home has surged from 20% in 2012 to 51% in 2013 and 84% now.

Angry Birds maker Rovio is one of the companies capitalising on this: it has quietly built its own kids’ TV network within its mobile games, generating billions of views for shows by other companies – including Fraggle Rock – as well as its own cartoons. Meanwhile, British startup Hopster has an app blending shows with educational games. “For the first time this new, alternative ‘first screen’ is going to establish a relationship of equals with the TV,” said Hopster founder Nicholas Walters.

MTV makes mobile ad deal with Mobsta

MTV have announced that all their premium ad-sales will be handled by Mobsta. With Mobsta already handling all mobile ad-sales for the ad2one group, this deal will not only give MTV a premium sales house but also give Mobsta extra generated reach. MTV have emphasised the importance of mobile following a recent surge of traffic coming through mobile devices. The Mobile share has now reached a quarter.

MTV’s UK head of digital sales Duncan McCrum said: ‘TV is delivering ever-higher levels of engagement with its entertainment and music content via new viewing screens and platforms. The way we sell advertising is constantly evolving in line with these changing patterns of consumption to make it easier than ever before for our clients to connect with these hard-to-reach audiences via mobile.’

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