An inside look at social TV in Portugal

By Natan Edelsburg 

A few weeks back, we wrote about Brazil’s tremendous internet population growth and its corresponding social TVgrowth. Portugal has also been enjoying steady growth, and many of its TV stations and companies have a strong presence in Brazil.

We spoke with Jorge Teixeira da SilvaBusiness & Social Media Intelligence Lead for DRI Global. da Silva has experience working with Radio Televisão Portuguesa (RTP), Portugal’s state-run TV network, and Portugal Telecom, one of Portugal’s largest cable providers. According to da Silva, RTP has two particularly strong assets: all television shows are available online, and, its programming is sought after by Portugese speakers across the world.

Portugal Telecom offers great functionality with its cable TV service, Meo, but according to da Silva, miss on user experience by promoting the capability for users to share what they’re watching to Facebook through an obstructive on-screen menu. We interviewed da Silva about Portugese TV and the social challenges it faces:

Lost Remote: Describe social TV in Portugal – how is it different?
Jorge Teixeira da Silva: We are in a very earlier stage of social TV, since people do share what they see on TV on social networks, especially on Facebook (the use of Twitter is very low in Europe), but there isn’t one platform that enables the “link” between the “Social Village” and the TV or Media Broadcast. The great number of apps or providers of social TV, don’t work in Portugal, due to legal issues (maybe) and the fact that the Cable TV is very strong. Almost 80% of the viewers are clients of Cable TV providers. So there is a lot of work to be done, since we are still in such an early stage. According to the latest statistics, Portuguese is the language on Facebook with the most growth in the last 6 months (this is due to the fact that the Brazilians are shifting from Orkut to Facebook and they have many people!), so the need to have one platform that embraces social and TV is very strong.

One of the things that Portugues-speaking countries have in common is the fact they all like soap operas and watch them daily.

LR: How is it similar?
da Silva: The fact that people use a Facebook a lot and watch a lot of TV. The link between both, though, doesn’t exist.

LR: What platforms are most popular among consumers?
da Silva: There are a lot – such as TiVo, GetGlue, and others.

LR: How do you try to reach Portuguese speakers living in other countries?
da Silva: Portuguese TV stations are broadcast across many countries, providing an outlet for these viewers.