Introducing Our 2014 Social TV Year-in-Review Guest Post Series

By Adam Flomenbaum 

Social-TVIn 2014, we officially entered the era of over-the-top, time-shifted, unbundled, a-la-carte, device-agnostic viewing. A ton of buzzwords? Sure. But this doesn’t make it any less true.

Want to cut the cords? No problem, you can still talk about ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Two and A Half Men’ the next day. Want to try a new show but are too late to the party and don’t want to wait until it comes out on Netflix? You can easily catch up in-season on video on demand. Feel like watching shows on your iPad? There’s a good chance what you want to watch is available (legally).

Until this year, the previous paragraph had caused networks, advertisers, and consumers alike much consternation. Now, the buzziest of buzzwords – disruption – is truly at play. Networks are finding viable solutions for monetizing content across screens, and are thus making more and more of this content accessible. No where was this more evident than this past winter, spring, and summer during the Olympics, March Madness, and World Cup, respectively. NBC, Turner and CBS, and Univision experimented with different types of content and advertising offerings and viewing numbers were through the roof.

Viewers are the main beneficiaries of all of this, and there is no better time to be a TV lover. No longer does one have to have cable, but still, there are many reasons to subscribe. There is always lots of talk of innovation in the TV space but it has rarely been about, for example, how cable service providers are racing to improve upon their TV Everywhere, VOD, and DVR offerings – and actually succeeding; are we starting to love Time Warner and Comcast? OK, let’s table that until 2015.

And, of course, on the social front we are continuing to experience amazing social TV programs. Fans of singing and dance competitions have the power to save favorite contestants during an episode, interact with characters and actors during episodes, and propel an off-the-cuff  selfie to historic heights.

Over the next two weeks we will feature guest posts from a number of thought leaders working behind the scenes to make all of the above possible. The posts will come from executives at social networks, TV networks, second screen solution providers, and marketing heads, and will touch upon – among other topics – how social TV has changed in 2014, where it’s headed in 2015, and some of their favorite initiatives from the past year.