Are social media functions still the missing piece for new live, linear digital TV services?
For many, this is the secret sauce for new OTT efforts — lacking from the current roster of platforms, including Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and YouTube TV, among others — to achieve scale. That would come from the nearly 100 million TV homes currently using traditional pay TV providers.
Philo, a new digital package of live, linear TV networks — cable networks sans broadcasting or sports channels — believes this is the key to future success.
Andrew McCollum, CEO of Philo and a founding member of Facebook, reportedly says Philo will develop new social media efforts around the service.
Philo, a national digital TV platform, will have more than 35 channels from A+E, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom, big cable network groups that are also strategic investors. It will cost consumers $16 a month.
Philo will include new social media-linking functions — like "syncing" up live viewing among friends/relatives where there can be live social media conversations. Philo, which began as a digital service sold to college students, says its young target users would like this.
TV advertisers might be eager to have this strong type of video engagement. But how they would get involved is another matter. And then there is a bigger picture. Surely millennials and young viewers are deep into all things technology.
Most importantly, they are also deep into multitasking media behavior.
Separately, a PwC report suggests that while plenty of social media content is focused on TV and other entertainment content, it does not necessarily link to actual viewing of TV shows.
This is not to say that social media as it relates to TV is not important. But one may not be able to draw a straight line to other traditional TV metrics. Other benefits need to be determined. New digital TV platforms have yet to figure out how to gain scale among all kinds of TV viewers — not just millennials.
Ease of operation is only one part. Many viewers might question the push of more multitasking activity around their current TV behavior: What's in it for me — and why?