Home narrow ‘Social TV’ brings its A-game in the battle for living room supremacy

‘Social TV’ brings its A-game in the battle for living room supremacy

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Holy multitasking. According to a new study by telecoms stat gurus Ovum, a cool 74 per cent of consumers with a broadband connection cruise the interwebs while watching the telly.

What’s more, Ovum found that 37 per cent of the consumers its spoke to indulge in the so-called second screen.

The trend is strong in both emerging and well-established markets. India’s early adopters are more than holding their own, while in Japan 76 per cent of connected consumers usE the second screen at least occasionally.

Meanwhile, Ovum found that overall 51 per cent of consumers it chatted with use the internet for further deets on the TV content they’re eyeballing. Thirty-eight per cent said they used social networking sites, such as Facebook, to discuss the TV programme. These figures rise to 59 per cent and 53 per cent respectively for 16 to 23-year-olds.

Internet killed the TV star?

Ovum principal analyst Michael Philpott reckons social TV trends may be both a blessing and a curse for the TV industry.

“On the negative side, increased adoption of more personal internet connected devices, and our growing reliance on and interest in internet applications, have reached such a level that they are diverting our attention away from the TV.”

“It is therefore feared that it might only be a matter of time before more valuable advertising revenues also move away from the TV and onto the second screen.”

“On a more optimistic note, there are a number of applications currently being developed that help the TV industry take advantage of these trends. The applications directly tie the TV and social networking sessions together, creating a new, fuller, and more interactive TV experience.”

Philpott even gave his crystal ball a wee polish to predict what role social networking will play in accessing TV and video content in the not-too-distant future. He believes devices must combine forces to provide a complete experience or risk becoming obsolete.

“Traditional TV players must understand and innovate around this area if they are to survive in the long-term.”

“To simply watch from the sidelines will be to hand the advantage to more innovative direct competitors, or online operators, which are becoming increasingly powerful in the media space.”

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