Inside the 'Social TV' book, now available for pre-order

By Natan Edelsburg 

The social TV world is quickly growing and expanding. Top level TV executives are discussing the current and future potential to sell social. Social data is becoming one of the main determinants to tell the temperature of how programming is received. Second screen apps and social TV startups are innovating each week and TV apps and websites are all transforming into the “second screen“.

Mike Proulx, Senior Vice President & Director of Social Media at Hill Holliday, is one of the leading thinkers in this space and along with co-author Stacey Shepatin (who leads Hill Holliday’s national broadcast buying practice) has added another page to the social TV history books by writing the first book dedicated to the topic.

Proulx recently led the panel on case studies of what did and didn’t work at the Social TV Summit and gave Lost Remote an exclusive interview on how the book came together. He describes the different interviews he sought out for the book and even shares a clip of outtakes with Twitter’s Chloe Sladden and Robin Sloan (two months before he left Twitter). Additionally, Proulx gives an exciting look at the impact Lost Remote and founder Cory Bergman had on their work. “Social TV” (published by Wiley & Sons), comes out on February 28th, but is available for pre-order now. They worked out a deal with 800CEORead to offer the book at a huge discount (44% off , $13.97 before shipping). Here’s the interview with Proulx.


Lost Remote: What inspired you to write a book on social TV?

Mike Proulx: As long as I can remember, I’ve been captivated by media innovation, especially the convergence of television and the Web. Social media is having a profound effect in how we experience TV and the landscape is changing at breakneck speed.

There are a lot of great existing resources (like Lost Remote) that report on what’s happening to television, yet there isn’t much out there that connects the dots and tackles what all of this means to advertisers. TV advertising used to be simple but, today, we’re in a world where television transcends media channels, devices, and screens.

While incredibly exciting, it’s become increasingly complicated (and a bit intimidating) for brands to navigate. For all intents and purposes, television is once again a “new media.” Stacey Shepatin (my co-author) and I wrote Social TV to guide brands as they test and learn in the modern era of television.

The “insider’s” backstory of Social TV can be found on my blog.

LR: If you had to sum up the book in 140 characters?

MP: I can do it in 106 characters: “how marketers can reach and engage audiences by connecting television to the web, social media, and mobile” – that’s the book’s subtitle 😉

LR: What interview was hardest to get?

MP: Getting perspectives from a wide sample of thought leaders (who are all doing incredible things) in the TV space was really important to Stacey and I. In total, we spoke with nearly fifty different companies and over seventy-five people in order to glean background content, case studies, and/or direct quotes.

Just about everyone we reached out to enthusiastically made themselves available. As Hill Holliday’s Director of National Broadcast (television) Stacey has terrific relationships within the industry, augmented with my contacts in the digital space. We got airtime with many of the Social TV startups simply by networking with them on Twitter.

We were able to capture about fifteen or so post-interview “teasers” on video. Probably my favorite one was with Twitter’s Chloe Sladden and Robin Sloan (two months before he left Twitter): We laughed a lot before and after the video which you can get a sense of from the outtakes across the videos we did.

Lost Remote: How much TV do you watch?

MP: Believe it or not, I watch well below the U.S. average of 35 hours a week. I’m a huge Today Show fan and I usually keep CNN on in the background. I absolutely love watching How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family and was into Entourage big time. I’m also a sucker for American Idol and X-Factor.

I still enjoy watching TV on the traditional “TV set” and am a heavy DVR user. I also have just about every connected TV imaginable because I wanted to try them all out. But what I like the most, is using the Xfinity iPad app’s “play now” feature (which includes HBO GO content). I no longer have a need for a TV in my bedroom because of the iPad. And during the summer, there’s nothing better than being up on the roofdeck watching “television.”

Lost Remote: What role do you think Lost Remote has played in social TV?

MP: Lost Remote is doing an incredible job breaking news in the social TV space and providing more in-depth case study-like examples. Cory is the most heavily quoted person in our book because he (not surprisingly) gave us very strong and crisp points-of-view. Add to that the fact that we referenced 16 posts from you guys. Clearly you’re making an important and impactful mark.

Lost Remote: What’s the future of social TV?

MP: Consolidation is going to happen within the next few years — it has to. The social TV space is increasingly getting more and more crowded which is further fragmenting the user experience of television. We’ve got to focus on integration and simplification.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon as new solution providers seemingly pop up monthly (if not weekly). I love that the space is hyper-competitive right now as it leads to greater innovation — at the same time, there’s a ton of overlap and redundancy which is only getting more pronounced. It’s an interesting an extremely exciting time for television right now — And that’s exactly why Stacey and I wrote Social TV.