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Social TV: The 31 people, apps, tools, companies and events you must know

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Social TV is going to change the face of televised entertainment in the next 16 months.

Bold statement, but one I stand by. Sooner or later, in order to survive, shows will have to start engaging fans in an Intermedia environment. Why? Because without viewers there aren’t sponsors, and without sponsors there aren’t shows. Right now, it’s getting harder for brands to see the return on TV advertising. We all know the many factors that are now affecting the television industry and eroding audience share: DVRs, The Internet and a multi-channel universe to name a few. As a result, marketers have seen the bedrock of their advertising plans, the :30 TV spot, lose relevance. New solutions need to be found to return to the “appointment television” model that worked so well in the TV era (50s – 80s). Social TV may not solve all the problems, but it is a real answer.

Social TV creates that appointment viewing. When the viewing experience transcends the single viewer in their living room and includes hundreds, even thousands of others, it becomes an event, and Americans love an event. That’s why the Super Bowl, American Idol, The Oscars and the Olympics draw so well. They’re events in one form on another.

The term Social TV covers a broad range of applications and activities, so I thought it would be interesting to create an essential list of the major players in the industry. I’ll admit this isn’t exhaustive or definitive, so please include in the comments anything or anyone you think is important that I missed. Maybe we can expand this list of 31 to a list of 50!

Disclaimer – I haven’t used all these tools and services, and there inclusion should not be construed as an endorsement. Where possible I used descriptions pulled directly from the sites.

THE PEOPLE

Cari Bugbee first gained notoriety for her participation in the Mad Men on Twitter experience. Now she’s running the Social TV and Film Group on Diigo and can be found wherever Social TV discussion is happening around the web.

Paul Farkas - Founder and CEO of SocialTV.com and runs the 1,000 member strong Social TV Facebook group.

Richard Kastelein – Founder of Agora Media, and curator of AppMarketTV page.

Mark Long – Manager of the popular (4,000+ members) Social TV Networking group on LinkedIn

Elspeth Rountree – Consultant for a variety of multi-national companies focusing on social television strategyShe created a similar guide that served as a resource for this post (Disclosure – I was about 90% done with this post when I found hers).

Steve Safran - Editor at Lost Remote.

 

THE APPS AND SERVICES

BeeTV - A place for people to interact and socialize about the TV show they are watching currently.

Clicker - The complete guide to Internet Television.

Dijit - Turn your smartphone into the remote control you’ve always wanted.

Fav.tv - allows users to take part in discussion threads that bring in comments from their friends and others about specific shows, as well as relevant news articles about those programs.

GetGlue - Users check-in and share what they are watching, listening to and reading with friends; get fresh recommendations, exclusive stickers, discounts and other rewards.

Intonow - gives users the ability to almost instantly recognize TV content and then helps them share and discuss those shows with friends, both within the product and through other social streams such as Facebook and Twitter.

Miso - Social TV with a twist of Game Mechanics. Similar to GetGlue

Ooyala - Gives content owners the power to expand audiences and the deep insights that drive increased viewer engagement and revenue from video.

Shazam - Known for their awesome music app, they’re now diving into Social TV with some intriguing options for brands.

TV Dinner – Next generation Social TV platform providing rich, realtime conversations and interactions about television. Unlike traditional social networks where relationships are the connective tissue, TV Dinner seeks to connect individuals through their interests—creating a greater opportunity for social discovery.

Umami - Still in ‘coming soon’ mode, here’s what Gigaom had to say about them.

Yap.tv – Offers show fans many interactive features such as user-generated polls, integration with Twitter and Facebook, automatic check-in to see what friends are watching, and real-time private group chat.

 

THE CONFERENCES

2-Screen - Hosted by Mint Digital, 2-Screen looks at how second screen practitioners are creating in a landscape of simultaneous media and split attention.

Social TV Summit – Focused on Social Media and its effect on viewing content on TV, online, on tablets and on mobile.

Social Media World Forum Europe - Two days of interactive & engaging conference featuring leading key figure keynotes, brand case studies, topical Q&A and debates, exhibition hall, workshops and networking with a specific track on Social TV.

 

THE BLOGS & NEWSFEEDS:

Live Digitally – Dijit’s Jeremy Toeman curates all the news about Connected TV, Smart TV, IPTV, OTT, Social TV, etc.

Lost Remote - The first and only source dedicated to social TV coverage.

SocialTV:Digest - Covering the fast-growing intersection of television + social media. We curate the latest news and trends affecting the Social TV landscape.

The End of Television As We Know It - A collection of thoughts about Television, Internet, Open Video, New Media, Convergence, Culture and the future.

TVAppMarket - The Internet’s first portal dedicated to the convergence of players expected to meet in this convergence of media – the web developers, the broadcasters, the consumer electronic manufacturers, the Pay TV crowd, the content creators, Mobile community, VC’s, startups, designers, creatives and agencies.

Social TV Facebook group – Vibrant group sharing the latest news and commentary on all aspects of Social TV.

 

THE ANALYTICS

Bluefin Labs – Data and insights about TV shows and commercials, generated from public social media conversations about TV.

Social Guide - The first real-time Social Programming Guide.

Trendrr –  Comprehensive television insight solution that analyzes engagement around television and brands by processing real-time activity across a variety of social networks.

TV Genius - Offers accurate searchrecommendations, and interactive TV guides. Combined with rich metadata, the software acts as a key differentiator in addressing the content discovery challenge.

 

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