#SocialTV Scorecard: 2012’s Most Buzzed-About TV Characters

TV is obviously a celebrity-driven (and celebrity-minting) medium, but when fans talk about TV in social media, they often talk about anything but the famous stars of their favorite shows. Instead, they talk about storylines, plot twists and especially characters – like Chuck Bass on “Gossip Girl,” rather than the actor, Ed Westwick, who plays him.

With that in mind, we’re presenting this chart of the year’s most-social characters on TV – those that generated the most mentions in social media in 2012 (primarily on Twitter and to a lesser extent on Facebook) as tracked by Ad Age’s editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media-monitoring firm.

We’ve broken down the analysis into multiple views, including the most social female characters, the most social male characters, the most social cartoon characters and the most social villains. Congratulations, of sorts, are due to Chuck Bass – and, sure, Ed Westwick – for topping the latter.
SXSW Rewind: The Top Ten Twitter TV Stats

Jenn Deering Davis of Union Metrics shared a variety of interesting stats throughout her presentation on how Twitter is changing the way we watch TV. 

10. 1 in 3 Twitter users tweets about TV at some point.

9. 41% of tablet owners and 38% of smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV.

8. Of those who tweet about TV, 76% do it while watching live. It’s a watch with other people thing.

7. Pretty Little Liars saw 25 million tweets in 2012 and garnered more tweets than any other show.

6. 3 out of 10 people watch a show after discovering it via Twitter. Tweets are driving viewing habits.

5. Half of this year’s Super Bowl ads had hashtags.

4. 51% of people tweet about shows to feel more connected to other viewers.

3. TV conversation is expanding beyond Twitter to Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

2. 79% of TV viewers visit Facebook while watching.

1. Live tweeting encourages fans to watch shows live—with ads!—though most say they prefer watching programming on demand.

Good read on how companies are making TV more social. Article talks about the following companies:

GetGlue – One of my faves of the bunch, after all, who doesn’t like getting discounts and free stickers in the mail?

IntoNow – Love the interface and how easy it is to check-in. But wish there was a better incentive though.

Shazam – Definitely easy to use, but the interface isn’t as appealing to look at. I prefer IntoNow over Shazam.

Miso – Haven’t tried this app yet.

Zeebox – Haven’t tried this app yet.

GetGlue prepares for expansion with $12 million of new funding
GetGlue is trying to figure out how to monetize their offerings.  They have acquired $12 million fundings to continue to expand their upper base which will hopefully bring on more revenue opportunities.  It will also be a spot for advertising to take place, whereby if a brand can’t get the advertisement to run during a show, they can do it on GetGlue and offer coupons as well as other special offers that they couldn’t in a comerical on the television.  Also, they are also looking at the opportunity of selling the data they collect to other networks and businesses so that those companies can better understand the social sentiment.  They are continuing to improve their Social TV tools as well as keeping an eye on the competition (Miso being it’s closest competitor).
Rogers Digital Media launches Social Stream app

Rogers Digital Media just launched a great looking app for the iPad called CityTV Social Stream. The app allows you to share your comments and photos via facebook and twitter.The app features content like photos, polls and even reminds you when your favourite shows are on!

This app comes just off the heels of CTV’s launch of their much anticipated VOD iPad app which included a social TV component using Facebook and Twitter.

CTV & Rogers focus on social TV is a good reflection on the current state of broadcast and its need to reinvent itself in order to remain a powerhouse in the new Connected Screen world which is currently in it’s infancy.

We can definitely expect more disruption in this space as connected TV continues to be a hot topic in 2012.

What are you watching?

Everyone has been checking into locations via Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places. Lately, you may have seen a new type of check in on your Facebook or Twitter feed. People are announcing what they are watching on TV

There seem to be three major players in this category of check in - GetGlue and Miso. I first heard about GetGlue and gave it a shot. After a few uses I realized that just checking into everything I was watching required more discipline than I  was willing to put in to tell the world about it. With Foursquare for example, the GPS tells you where you’re at. With GetGlue, my phone or laptop did not know what I was watching so I had to search for it. Also, I could claim I was watching anything at all, even if I wasn’t. Philo on the other hand, polled me about my location and TV provider to enable a channel lineup with currently playing shows. I like the relevancy there.

When I check into locations using Facebook Places, it’s usually because I’m in Facebook anyway so it is a natural progression to complete that task. What would remind me to check into a TV show? I had all but dismissed this new service. A friend started to use Miso, which I had heard about but wasn’t any more interested in it than GetGlue. I checked it out anyway, just in case I was missing something. It was the same. The only difference was that Miso was focused on TV unlike GetGlue that lets me check into the Show, the soundtrack, the cast individually and any other product or person associated with the show. Miso was at least very streamlined.

I wanted to know why these products were cool so I crowdsourced some answers on Twitter. The first to reply was @GoMiso. I figured I’d give the company a chance to defend itself and asked to speak with someone. @MisoSupport responded promptly with an email address. I sent an email out on a Friday evening explaining that I wanted to post a column explaining why this part of social media was fun. Within an hour I got a response back from their CEO. We exchanged a few emails and set up a Skype call for the next morning.

We spoke for nearly an hour and I have to tell you, I didn’t find out why it is cool. The answer I did get was better. I was told how it can be cool in the future. We spoke of innovation; a sector of social media in its infancy; of being first to explore a new space. That news made me happy.

When Foursquare launched, you could check in. Everyone said, “So what? Why?” and the answer was, “So you can tell people where you are.” “But what does it do?” “It lets your friends know about the places you go.” “And what purpose does that serve?” “To be social.” And around and around it went.

When I spoke to Somrat Niyogi, the CEO of Miso, he spoke of Miso’s focus on TV and where it can go. He told me, more than once, that the check in is not the point. That is just the beginning. So if that is the beginning, where does he see it going? The honest answer is that he doesn’t know. He doesn’t think anyone in this space really does, but he has some ideas.

Here are some basic thoughts on what the future may hold:

  • Integration with Internet-connectable TVs providing automated (or streamlined) check ins based on what you’re watching.
  • Information provided about the show you’re watching (a la VH1 Pop Up video perhaps?)
  • Further information about topics. Think about watching the 6:00 news and a disease is discussed. If you are checked in, then you can have an option to be taken directly there.

With smartphones, tablets and notebooks within arms reach while watching TV, we find the living room is becoming smarter. People often use their phone while watching TV. I have had a movie on HBO on my TV, a Jets game on my laptop, FaceTime call on my iPhone and glancing at my iPad for new tweets. That’s real use of the 2nd screen concept. That is becoming more and more common. The team at Miso feels very strongly about the habit of using a 2nd screen to share information about current TV watching activities. 

My biggest question revolved around having a user adopt the practice of checking in when the user is not living inside of a large ecosystem like Facebook. Somrat is confident that the integration of the 2nd screen in everyone’s lives, the additional content provided via Miso and their focus on TV (as opposed to the fragmentation of GetGlue and its ability to check into anything media related - my words, not his) will make Miso a part of the TV watching experience.

Can the Miso team make this second nature and expand the popularity of this portion of the social space? They have as good a chance as anyone, if not better. I haven’t spoken to the folks at GetGlue and don’t know their future plans or ideas. I’d say this is an untapped portion of the social space that is waiting for an ecosystem to be built around it. The framework is in place. The interest is there. Now let’s see what the Miso team can do to engage us and keep us using it. Since my conversation with Somrat, I’ve been much more conscious about checking in and I am excited to see what’s next.

More importantly, I’m waiting to see the evolution of this space across all providers. Is there room for more than one or will the first to innovate and grow dominate the space and be the Facebook of TV? What features do people want? What will make users adopt this process into their daily lives. There are questions that will be answered as this space gets explored. If there is one thing that is for sure, it is that the social media movement is driving us toward total sharing and transparency.

So, what are you watching?

Zeebox obtains over $15 million from BSkyB

ZeeBox has scored over $15 million investment from BSkyB.  They have yet to launch in the US where the market is more mature with having multiple second screen social TV options. In Europe, they have already attracted over 250,000 users.  Anthony Rose, CTO and co-founder of Zeebox, says that the money will help to accelerate the international rollout as well as the development, new features, and more platforms.
Opera Launches TV App Store

With CES beginning today, we can expect to see a flurry of PR around new services, offerings and technology which should keep our interest peaked for the rest of the year.

Connected or Smart TV is at the top of the list for 2012.

Opera’s announcement on using TV as the next screen revolution is on trend with other similar announcements expected from TV manufacturer’s, set-top boxes (STBs) and platform providers like Google and Apple.

Miso acquires $4 million investment from Khosla Ventures

As Miso begins to fall, it secures a $4 million funding deal from Khosla Ventures in addition to the $2 million investment from Google Ventures and Hearst Interactive Media.  Now, Miso is not just a place to ‘check in,’ while you watch an opt-in pop-up window will display facts, quotes and more.  Miso is teaming up with Facebook to make TV sharing easier.  There are apps available for phones and tablets, creating an opportunity for ‘second screen’ space.