Friday, 22 June 2012

Social TV and the London Olympics

In fact, 2012 is the year of Social TV. The wake of social activity trailing television’s big events and launches has rained social media records onto grateful broadcasters. The standout so far this year was the Superbowl, which generated 12.2 million social media comments, compared to 1.8 million the previous year. It was also the most watched TV broadcast in US history. The increase in social activity over the previous year is key. Nielsen claim that in the first quarter of this year 42% of tablet and smartphone owners visited social networking sites while sat in front of the TV set.

The broadcasters have been learning quickly, jumping on the success of social innovations. The invocations to play along, vote, comment and the like are now part of the basic grammar of event and sport television.

Social and second screen viewing are integral to shows like MTV’s Video Music Awards and Movie Awards, which pioneered the Twitter tracker and showed which stars were the most talked about by means of real-time leaderboards and extra, behind-the-scenes raw camera feeds. But it is not only about the MTV or shows like Eurovision, now it is Euro 2012, so in my personal experience football games are the most talked about on social media – all my friends posted smth of Facebook during Champion’s League Finals, Premier League Final and now it is not stopping – every day – Euro 2012!

England’s victory against Sweden last week generated about 700,000 tweets during the game according to Starcom Mediavest Group’s ECHOscreen Twitter analysis tool. Well, I think the London Olympic Games will be the most tweeted, liked and tagged in history, with fans offered a never before seen insider's view of what many are calling the social media Olympics, or the "socialympics."

Real-time market intelligence companies like have arisen around this new extension to the television market. offers daily charts of TV shows’ social media engagement and evidence for these new commercial claims. Social TV apps typically tie with Twitter for real-time conversations, but the new Yap.TV app is adding deep Facebook integration as well. Beyond likes and shares, it integrates with Facebook chat, enabling users who have logged in via Facebook to discuss the shows they’re watching with their friends.

What are the brands doing?

Shows like Jersey Shore and Gossip Girl have apps that are grounded in their real world locations. Fans get to check out and check in to the bars and locations featured in the shows. Jersey Shore’s app also links up with FourSquare. Fox have had huge success with their social media strategy and Glee lends itself to this with the easy-to-share songs that are its core content. There’s an app that lets you do your own ‘Gleetastic’ karaoke of songs from the series and share them on all the usual social networks. Gleefully they declare: “Explore endless performances on the Globe and listen to singers from all over the world. Leave them helpful comments.” Indeed. Luckily, with friends like these, there is an autotune function.

Coca Cola said they are planning the major mobile activity during the Olympic Games. So let’s wait and see what they are going to bring to the public soon!

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