Category Archives: Second Screen

Facebook and Twitter Battle Over Social TV

Panasonic-Twitter-FacebookThe battle for Social TV heats up as Breaking Bad’s final episode generated over 5.5 million interactions from more than 3 million Facebook users. (The entire previous season overall produced 23 million Facebook interactions from 11 million users.). Meanwhile, Twitter had 1.47 million tweets from 682,000+ uniques for the same show.

What do these numbers mean? In a nutshell, It means that the number of users who start watching a particular TV show based on social media conversations takes place more often in Facebook than on Twitter. In fact, by more than 2 to 1.

But as Sarah Perez of TechCrunch points out, the comparison between Facebook and Twitter concerning social TV is more of an apples/oranges comparison than apples/apples.

“…Facebook is much bigger than Twitter: 1.15 billion monthly actives versus Twitter’s 200+ million. One could argue its numbers for almost anything will be bigger. But really, it’s Facebook’s looser definition of active engagement that makes comparing its figures to Twitter’s a problem. Facebook, you see, counts nearly any engagement with its content among its “interactions” – it includes not only those posting status updates themselves, but also others who then like, comment or re-share that post to their own networks of friends.

Facebook counting a “like” as an “interaction” is like Twitter counting a “favorite.” It’s not an ideal metric to lump in with Facebook posts or re-shares, but, rather, should be treated as a separate category of interaction. After all, there are a number of reasons why you may like someone’s Facebook status, and it’s not always directly related to the TV content they’ve shared.”

Twitter is a platform that collects a massive amount of data on all formats of digital media consumption. It experimented in the past with a #Music app, which is mostly dead at this point, but they learned from the experience, and as a result, will soon be launching a new television-oriented experience called #TV, which just might put it in the dominate position.

“Leveraging the real-time nature of Twitter will be instrumental to the success or failure of Twitter and TV. Facebook is gunning hard for the television market, and has been releasing big numbers surrounding ‘interactions’ generated by Likes and comments. Depending on how you interpret those numbers, Twitter either has its work cut out for it or has little to worry about.

Twitter has been working on this TV thing in a dedicated fashion for quite a while. It made itself into a bona-fide internet TV ratings system with Nielsen and recently started rolling out ad-targeting programs to woo TV money. It’s convinced that it has more to offer to TV than Facebook, and Facebook is just as convinced of the opposite. I doubt this tit-for-tat will be settled soon, but there’s a strong  case to be made that Twitter is actually in the better position, for now.”

One example of a #TV feature twitter is developing is a DVR-like control over the flow of live twitter feeds around live TV events.

“Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, is reportedly working on a social media DVR. The aim of the project is to highlight the best moments and reactions from live events, and then allow users to replay the content at a later time. “Right now, you get purely the reverse chronological order of the tweets. It would be nice to see things like a graphic of spikes in the conversation. And be able to scroll back to that time and see what happened at that particular moment,” Costolo said.

It’s easy to see why Twitter is so successful when placed alongside live TV. Take the NBA playoffs for example, which recently came to a close this past week. Twitter was a delicate mix of humorous commentary, serious reflection, in-game photos, and an expression of either pure elation or defeat when the final buzzer sounded.”.

While twitter does not have the same user base numbers as Facebook, it has a platform that allows to be more vertically focused, such as Television, (#TV) and it is aggressively pursuing these niches to dominate the social interactions for each vertical.

It will be interesting to see how this battle develops over time.

Yahoo Screen Mobile Application

Re-imagining Video For Mobile with Yahoo Screen

Yahoo launched a new mobile application called “Yahoo Screen,” which runs on Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The Yahoo Screen app will become Yahoo’s media content portal, offering a simple, swipeable user interface for browsing through the video channels.

yahoo-screenThe Yahoo Screen app allows users to browse through trending video clips, granular searches for specific programs, and includes gesture-based navigational controls – for example, swiping left and right skips between the episodes, while swiping up and down flips through channels.

The idea, the company explains, is to re-create the feeling of channel surfing on the TV on mobile. The navigation controls are on the left side of the screen, where you can scroll up and down through the available content channels, tap a search button, or access a side bar where you can navigate in between other Yahoo apps like Mail, Flickr, Fantasy Sports, and more.

To kick things off, Yahoo Screen has announced a deal with Viacom to offer clips from some of Comedy Central’s best shows, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Along with an exclusive digital clip archive of Saturday Night Live, Yahoo Screen offers access to a lot of comedy video content.

More information from Techcrunch and Yahoo.

TV Remote Control Application Peel

peelPeel is essentially a remote control replacement mobile application with 25 million users, a content selection and device control platform blended into one experience. Peel runs on Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and all Samsung Tablets, as these devices have incorporated IR blasters into them, allowing for direct signaling to television screens. And we can expect more devices in the future to incorporate an IR blaster signal. According to Peel’s website:

We are today the world’s largest Tune-In platform for TV. The Peel products serve customers in 200+ countries worldwide. By 2014 Peel expects to be powering about 30% of TV Tune-Ins in the US and 20% of TV Tune-Ins worldwide.

Peel is furthering its relationships with mobile device manufacturers, and currently in the product development phase with three additional manufacturers.

Peel already has deals with content companies to serve up paid recommendations, and it’s also monetizing movie trailers and other preview clips that can be viewed within the app through ads and marketing relationships. “We are a revenue-generating company,” Krishnan said.

More information at GigaOm.

Social Television & Viewer Engagement

Tom Bowers of Content4Productions, a broadcaster viewer engagement and social TV firm, recently explained the importance of Social TV and viewer engagement in a succinct manner:

TV for many years has been used as a catalyst to bring people closer together, whether it be in the pub, at work or at home. It drives us to talk about it as it taps into 3 areas that make us interact as humans – Emotional response, shared experience and opinion.Social media due to its fabric allows us to share our thoughts and comments in real time and a large proportion of TV viewers are taking to these social platforms to do exactly that. Take twitter for example, they announced earlier this year that 60% of all Twitter users access the network whilst watching TV and 40% of all Twitter traffic around peak time is about TV (Secondsync 2012). Given there are more than 10 million active twitter users in the UK this provides a point of entry that the broadcast industry can vastly capitalise on.

Connect Four Productions offers broadcasters a layer of creative enhancement and production empathy to manage and deploy unique social and viewer engagement experiences that become synonymous with the broadcast brand. Content Four Productions specializes in mulit-platform viewer engagement, particularly in Social TV.

Full Interview:

Internet DVR Legal in Singapore

On December 1st, 2010, Singapore has ruled Cloud DVR / Internet DVR / iDVR legal by the highest court on appeal in the case of versus Mediacorp, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, a wholly owned Singapore government entity that broadcasts the 7 Free To Air Television channels for Singapore. Here is a copy of the court document for this verdict:

RecordTV Judgment – InternetDVR Ruled Legal by concerned-citizen

Live TV versus VOD Statistics

live-tv-agesA recent study by ThinkBox shows that Live TV still satisfies most viewers needs. VOD caters more towards viewers who want private and personalized TV. The study found that there are predominately 6 reasons why users watch TV, they are as follows: unwind, comfort, connect, experience, escape, indulge.

“All respondents owned a smartphone and 46% owned a tablet and nearly  three-quarters watched VOD content at least once a week. This compares with the  52% of the UK who has ever watched VOD. Yet this pales into the background  compared with live TV which UK viewers watch 90% of the time.

The survey found that the live TV experience satisfies human emotional needs  that on demand viewing alone can’t. By contrast VOD excels at satisfying  personal approaches to TV, specifically indulging and escaping, but was is less  equipped for more social needs such as unwinding and seeking comfort. The survey  found that for 54% of the occasions people watch live TV they are with someone  else compared to 30% for VOD. And for viewers who want to connect and feel like  they are sharing a TV experience with the outside world, then live TV was judged  by far the best way.

Audio Recognition Improves Second Screen Apps


Gracenote’s development of its new audio fingerprinting program Entourage™ is further proof that second screen viewing is becoming the new norm.  The program allows a second screen app to “listen” to your TV and give you information based on that exact point in the show or movie.

This is an improvement on earlier audio recognition, which used watermarks, or cues placed at distinct points throughout the broadcast, to identify the content.  If a user ran the feature too late or too early, it would not pick up the cue and would thus be rendered useless.

Gracenote’s president Stephen White supports his company’s technology as the best in the business, explaining why Gracenote’s new API might generate new second screen apps:

“Audio fingerprinting is the most elegant solution. It’s the easiest for broadcasters since it doesn’t require content to be modified, and it doesn’t require viewers to hear some beep every ten minutes.”

Gracenote is already well-known for providing the technology that recognizes song names and artists from burned CDs put into iTunes.  With Entourage, it and second screen apps could be launched into a new and prosperous technological age where people need only launch an app feature to interact directly with a TV broadcast.

Full article at TechCrunch.

Second Screen Apps For TV Networks

6a00e5506f08e8883401676114730e970b-500wiAs we progress more and more into the digital age, so too does our need for entertainment.  No longer are people satisfied with one screen for their TV experience – the age of the second screen has arrived.

For some young people, watching TV simply would not be as fulfilling without having their laptop, tablet, or some other mobile device in front of them.

TV networks have recently caught on to this paradigm shift, and some have already launched their own companion apps to accompany their shows.  NBC Universal’s SyFy channel recently launched its app in the UK, which will coincide with its fantasy series “Defiance,” after having experienced initial success from its August 2012 launch in the US.

British news provider Channel 4 also launched their companion app, called 4Now, allowing users to interact in real time via votes, games, and quizzes, while also integrating them directly with Twitter.

Patrice Slupowski says in an interview with Viaccess-Orca that second screen apps are a reaction to new TV viewing habits:

“Second screen apps are responding to major changes in the way people behave in front of the TV sets in their living rooms. 80% of viewers now have a second screen, which 30% of them are using quite frequently to interact with their friends.”

Networks like NBC Universal and Channel 4 are the leading edge in a wave of second screen developments that will sweep the entertainment industry.  Although first screen TV content will continue to be the main focus, second screen media may very well be a deciding factor for many viewers in the future.