Why the Marriage of Social Media and Broadcast Is Critical to Television

As media consumption via mobile devices and social media continues to increase, broadcast stations are taking note and adapting to the trend.

Interactivity is becoming more prevalent in our society. Shows like Q&A in Australia track and monitor the number of tweets that are directly linked to the show as it is aired, and viewers can tweet in with questions for the panel.

In this example, you can see that broadcasters are using interactivity to their advantage by getting profound and valuable feedback from their audience, but also engaging them more and leveraging multiscreen interaction.

It could be put forward that that social media will outpace more conventional media sources in certain fields. For example, conventional news broadcasting may take a backseat to livestreams over social networking platforms, with the average person becoming a journalist with breaking news.

Twitter’s latest move to support live feeds, such as tightening up collaboration with news agencies like Bloomberg, as well as Facebook Live are enriching the scene of user-generated content via live crowdcasting.

This is only a short step by those giants to move into premium-grade content streaming, moreover, as they possess far better knowledge of their user preferences than any of the traditional media and broadcasting houses do.

Tightening collaborations between social networks and broadcasters such as the Twitter example above is the manifestation of such synergies, but on the flip side, it should make broadcasters more wary about their market power.

The social media industry is new, pervasive and captivating with younger audiences, which are more difficult to acquire by broadcasters without significant innovation. Content has to be part of their social experience as for them it has to be either share-worthy or it’s not interesting.

The power of social media is the level of its knowledge about its user base, which means that services can be better tailored to user needs. As content by nature is subject to individual tastes, it is all more natural that premium content providers need to find opportunities to marry more engagement and interaction around the content, but also learn to capture the knowledge about their user base and their preferences more efficiently.

Content is king, and professional media will not become extinct, but it will have to accommodate to the dynamics of user habits, engagement and preferences that will require rather large shift from where it is today.

It should also not ignore the demographical preferences–the value of quality news and entertainment is more profound with the older audience, which is growing at unprecedented pace. Hence, while social media possesses vast knowledge about younger demographics, the broadcasting industry can capture better understanding of older audiences by having socially more compelling engagement mechanisms implemented.

This is an interesting market opportunity, and we now see new entrants coming to the market such as Sentab, which is offering seamless social feeds–media sharing in conjunction with live TV on an over-the-top platform. While it is a universal social TV platform, by its inclusive user interface and novel approach to interaction through TV, it opens a new gateway for both younger and senior users.

Social TV has been there, it was hyped and it failed. But gradually, we see social elements coming back in more subtle forms and increasing the content viewing experience. This is where Twitter has seen a potential for extra value added, this is where Sentab is seeing a fantastic market opportunity and this is where we see likely new initiatives in the nearest future.

Tarmo Pihl is the CEO of Sentab.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.