How New Media is Changing TV: Shifts In Engagement And Delivery [Part 2]

Guest blogger Lauren Maynard continues her examination of the radical changes social media has imposed on the television industry, looking at how content is being delivered to consumers, how consumers are using these content-delivery platforms, and how networks and advertisers are responding to these changes.

This guest post, the second of a three-part series, is authored by Lauren Maynard, Director of Research for Room 214, where she leads the agency’s business intelligence practice. Follow Maynard’s conversation on Twitter and the Room 214 blog, Capture the Conversation.

In my previous post, I talked about how changes in consumer behavior are radically impacting the television industry.

Today, I will take a look at how content is being delivered to consumers, how consumers are using these content-delivery platforms, and how networks and advertisers are responding to these changes.

To start, let’s look at these major shifts in the industry:

  • Consumers expect networks to deliver content where they want it and when they want it. If the network doesn’t comply, they can simply find the content through illicit sources.
  • Many new products on the market make watching live television through a traditional provider an increasingly irrelevant experience. A recent study suggests that over half a million households have opted to forgo cable for online content.
  • We continue to see the funding and growth of products focused on multi-source consumption of entertainment. A great example of these efforts is Blip.tv’s mission, “to bridge the gap between the computer and the television and to bring quality online content everywhere.”

TV Delivery

When we take a look at the way consumers discuss New TV, we find that there is not a large amount of conversation driven by individual consumers. This is partly due to the barrier to entry: pulling entertainment from the internet involves multiple devices, and is still in a stage of early adoption.

  • Viewers stream movies online, download movie torrents, or watch them from Netflix On-Demand
  • Streaming to TV is supported by XBox 360, Wii and other gaming platforms
  • Much of this conversation about newer platforms like Google.tv, Apple.tv, Roku, Boxee, Slingbox, etc. happens in blogs or forums, where users are discussing device strategy and configuration

Using a Mobile Application

Additionally, three applications have come into market in the past year that are focused on Foursquare-like check-ins specific to entertainment. GetGlue, Tunerfish, and Miso ask users to check into a specific show, web video, or form of entertainment. Check-ins are shared in a news stream and allow users to browse and discover trending content.

  • Users mainly discuss two things, the shows they are watching or the badges they have received
  • 90% of the overall conversation comes through automated Twitter messages
  • Regardless, there were over 700,000 Tweets mentioning these applications in January 2011 alone

Advertising Against This

This shift in viewing habits and viewer demands has also changed the way we deliver, and can measure the impact of, advertising in television. Suddenly, advertising is not just a traditional ad: it’s web videos (see: Old Spice campaign), Facebook contests, Twitter chats, and beyond.

There is not a strong correlation between traditional measurement, like Nielsen ratings, and social media buzz. Are we using irrelevant models?

  • At Room 214, we’ve been working to correlate social buzz to traditional measurements, like ratings and views of web content. High buzz could suggest a strong relationship between viewers and a given show, even if not reflected in ratings. This also means that media buys for lower-rated shows with high online buzz can produce significant impact at a lower price.
  • Branded content integration provides a great example of the relationship between advertising and social media. More importantly, you can measure it! When Modern Family used an iPad in an episode prior to the iPad release, the network was able to measure $516k in earned media through mentions that included both the show and product directly after airing.

In the final series post, I discuss a theory that is impacting this advertising, called transmedia storytelling. Networks and advertisers that are using this theory to disseminate brand and show information are successfully working through new content delivery platforms and in new social spaces. By doing this, networks can engage fans and create an entertaining and worthwhile experience outside of the television tune-in experience.

This post uses information taken from a comprehensive study conducted jointly by Room 214 and Crimson Hexagon. Download the full study here.

Room 214 is a social media agency that helps companies connect to the people that matter most, creating value through social experiences that integrate intelligence, social network and mobile technologies.

Crimson Hexagon provides real-time social media monitoring and analysis to brands, agencies, media firms and their partners. The Crimson Hexagon ForSight platform is powered by patent-pending technology developed at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science.