What is social TV?
At Digitial Living Room conference in Santa Clara, Calif., media executives discuss a new buzzword being bandied about, social TV. The executives share their thoughts on the trend and discuss new ways social networking platforms and television are coming together for one user experience. The panel, moderated by Michael Stroud of iHollywood Forum, includes: Dalas Verdugo, community director, Vimeo.com; Itzik Cohen, CEO, ClipSync; Thomas Carpenter, vice president of operations, Epix; and Bill Binenstock, vice president, CBS.com. (Disclosure: SmartPlanet is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)
What is social TV?
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>> What is social TV, how do you define that?
>> I would just say that social TV, it's two parts, one is discovery which is using your social network of your friends and your associates to discover new content that's interesting to you because you share an interest with them. And apart from the discovery, there's also the social experience of watching content together and commenting on it in real-time especially. Instead of having to be in the room together, you can have a social experience of TV when you're in distributed locations.
>> For CBS and the way we perceive social TV, we've looked at TV as social since its inception. Clearly the dynamic has changed with society and technology. It used to be that everybody - I was thinking about the slide that I think Colin phonetic had earlier up in which we had the 1960s inaudible TV and the concept that everybody went to the living room, sat down around it as a family, and watched Gunsmoke. Now with televisions or video screens proliferated throughout the home or across a nation, or even internationally, people are finding themselves wanting to meet socially in different ways. And what social TV now means is the ability to connect via social networks and other mechanisms with people of like interests, and then to augment their viewing experience in a new way.
>> I agree with everything that was said here. The way we define social TV is there's a synchronous social TV which basically allows people to watch something at the same time and enjoy it. It's really good for sports, movies, several viewing parties for shows, et cetera. And there's also the asynchronous social experience which basically allows you to see comments as they were made before by other people in the video stream itself, compete into trivia, invite others to create their own viewing experience. We feel that, like Bill said here, TV was a very social thing to begin with, so we're not doing something new. We're just trying to simulate that same experience that we had before in the living room or other places we consumed video content back with technology to allow it be social again. Because again, with time shifting and with geo shifting, TV kind of became less social, and we're trying to bring it back with technology.
>> I'll agree with everything that was said as well. And I'll just add that in the broadband space at least, social TV will just be TV in a couple of years. So everything that we're doing now is hopefully not changing, but adapting to how people want to consume the media. And in a couple years that will be inaudible how it is.
==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Technologies ====