Social TV is here to stay!

social tv videomindTelevision set sales have been declining, with fewer households owning them and fewer sets per household. But this may be about to turn around. New television technologies, including 4K displays and smart TVs that can access content over the Internet, are gaining interest with consumers. LCD technology is improving, including sets with LED backlighting. One example of this is Samsung’s Q series 2nd generation quantum dot technology,  offering precise contrast and color. High dynamic range (HDR) technology also improves contrast and color. And, as we have been seeing for years, larger and larger TVs are popular, with more 65 inch to 75 inch models being shown at this year’s CES.

Younger consumers tend to be more interested in higher resolution/larger televisions and technology upgrades/hardware specifications in general, Mintel finds. Although the television market in North American and Europe is broad and diverse, in many countries television buyers tend to be males ages 16-34 living in urban areas, according to GlobalWebIndex.

Simultaneous TV and internet use is still rising in the US, according to eMarketer. The initial major live events of 2016 were huge indicators. The Super Bowl saw almost equal amounts of TV and mobile phone usage. As for the Oscars, even with declining TV viewership, social engagement was at an all-time high. Brands found success during the Olympics, triggering engagement in response to event and medal wins.

As it grows, second screening on social is undergoing a shift, expanding or moving away from Facebook and Twitter to more niche platforms like SnapChat, that cater to immediacy and younger audiences. For second screening, social platforms differ by audience reach and measurement capabilities. For example, Facebook is the choice for brands that are looking for detailed audience data, while Snapchat is ideal for driving event ticket sales. Instagram offers targeting for a highly engaged audience in a quality-centric, creative environment. Planning unique additional content, and being prepared for memorable real-time engagement has been huge draws for brands. There’s plenty of room to play within this space, with consumers willing to pay attention. Multitasking is also on the rise. On average, Gen Xers conduct three simultaneous activities while watching TV, according to eMarketer. That rises to four when it comes to Millennials and teens.

Even in Malaysia, Stadium Astro, Tonton and TM’s HyppTV have launched dedicated online channels where the games will be streamed live during the duration of the 2017 SEA Games. A quick survey around the office shows that Malaysians have watched at least ONE livestream, including the opening ceremony which received 83,162 views on YouTube alone.

To find their stride, brands should let campaign goals determine platform choice. Social platforms are working to improve in this space. Facebook is targeting ads to users according to what they are streaming on Roku and Apple TV devices. Twitter is partnering with brands like Bloomberg and the NFL to offer exclusives. SnapChat is similar, offering short form versions of shows from NBC Universal. The app is also beefing up analysis software for advertisers. Amidst this diversification of platform engagement, brands are likely to experiment during major live events early come 2018.

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