Commentary

Be Smart, Be Social

As “content everywhere” business models continue to expand at a rapid pace, it becomes abundantly clear what the devices and platforms defining and driving TV and digital entertainment contents convergence are.

With convergence, content providers and producers need to know and have survival skills to compete in “content everywhere” markets -- including what the revenue, brand and digital extensions mean to the bottom line.

A few market shifts are painting a much clearer picture. Understanding “smart” platforms and devices, and what defines “social TV” content engagement, especially for the younger generations, is crucial to content business models in a “content everywhere” world. 

Basically, multi-screen content strategy for 2012 and beyond is all about being “smart” and being “social.”

This is clear from the attention on a few new research studies that show global online TV and video revenues hitting $22 billion by 2016, up from $3.4 billion in 2010. 

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U.S. executives can look at with anticipation, or concern at the prediction that the U.S.’s share of that market will drop from 54% to 36% as the “globalization of content” and how people receive it takes off, with connected devices and platforms in Europe and Asia driving the growth in on-line video and TV revenues more than any other.

Smart And Social Digital Extensions:

Digital and traditional TV viewing and distribution platforms are converging.

Indicators show that smart, internet-connected TVs, devices and tablets, and most importantly OTT (over-the-top TV) are becoming the major viewing points for digital entertainment on digital platforms. The real digital and online video revolution has arrived, marrying content development with digital brand strategy across platforms.

With digital content extensions, we know now that if you build it, most likely an audience will be there waiting to engage and embrace it. -- with new devices driving entry to complementary entertainment and TV content in games, video, and social, with direct interactivity across platforms.

Being smart and social, from a content producers’ perspective, now has more meaning than ever. It is about approaching content development with digital extensions such as a social or causal game, or micro-sites that push social engagement.  A “second screen” strategy knows that TV needs to be more interactive and social and that a majority of the audience views TV while also on mobile, smart devices, and tablets at the same time. The opportunity, and challenge, lies both before and after TV viewing takes place. 

Being “smart” is about TV content for Internet-connected TVs and devices that can and most likely have complementary social TV & game extensions, embracing second-screen TV development at every juncture.

Developing “Social TV” applications and extensions, or content that has a social strategy with entry points, triggers, and enticer’s for content engagement drives audience to the content.  Creating content that embraces social is all about getting the audience interested. The challenge is making them care about the entertainment to engage with it.    

The Future Of Content: Customization And Personalization

Creative ideas transcend platforms. New platforms and the digital extensions that encompass them create new revenue opportunities.

Social TV, “second screen” interactivity & engagement through social & casual game extensions are a gateway to ancillary platform revenues.

Disruptive technologies such as content recommendation, check-in social apps, and many other social, digital & casual game technologies let the audience customize and personalize their content viewing and engagement.

New content technologies and the digital extensions created for and by them drive engagement.  They also help build awareness pre-launch of an anticipated new TV or on-line series, or companion TV tie-in.

Audiences want the opportunity to share with their friends what they are watching, recommend the programs they like, and share their personal experience across digital platforms customized to their liking.

Content producers and providers need to develop for where content is going.  With the right mix of smart and social, you can’t go wrong.

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