One of the popular memes we’ve been ridiculing for a couple years here at Lairig Marketing is the “death of TV” – all the blather about no one watches TV anymore, everyone is cord cutting Pay TV, digital will drop spend on TV advertising to zero, blah yadda blah.
Looks like the social media intelligentsia got our message. Similar to how they have slowly embraced other fundamentals of marketing – social CRM, social commerce, social influencer marketing, yadda blah yadda – they are now giving the world - * drumroll * - social TV.
And, once again, it is simply “digitizing” what people have been doing since Edison.
It is common wisdom that 1 of every 2 people in a group watching TV will talk throughout a program. Instead of laughing at a sitcom joke, the person must speak: “Wow, that dude is funny.”
Instead of gasping during a suspenseful moment in a drama, the person must speak: “Whoa, that dude didn’t see THAT coming!” On and on, for as long as you can tolerate it.
The beauty of social TV is that it allows that person to type these thoughts on a keyboard and annoy people OUTSIDE the living room – Facebook friends, Twitter followers, et al. Of course, if he also speaks while typing, everyone is screwed.
As always, one hand giveth, one taketh away. Dozens of companies – GetGlue, Miso, IntoNow – are looking to monetize this activity, to insert programmers and marketers (surprise!) into the conversation. It’s the Facebook model: twaddle infused with crappy ads.
The irony is that “gurus” aren’t emphasizing the “social” as much as the “TV.” This is the future of TV, they tell us. If programmers and station owners don’t get on board, they are toast. The viewers shall rule the airwaves.
The airwaves that we were being told two years ago were going the way of the dodo. Guess not.
A bigger irony: just to prove how powerful a medium TV is, one of the new players in the social TV space across the pond in the UK, Zeebox, is using TELEVISION ADVERTISING to promote its SMARTPHONE APP.