Image based on “Living Room and TV Digital Art” by Carlos Cunha.
Google has teamed with Intel, Sony and Logitech to bring Google TV to televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes. Google TV uses search to give you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies. As the company is opening up Google TV to developers, and considering the dominance Google and its partners have on both web and traditional TV – it has a good potential to be a success, in the same place many other players failed with web TV (AppleTV, Vudu, Roku, TiVo, Sony Bravia Internet Link, Logitech, Jadoo, Microsoft).
But, while competing on our living room, Google in its recent release left out the social aspect of the promised integration between web and TV.
Trendsspotting has previously discussed the social nature of television versus the internet, based on users perceptions. Today, more than ever – it seems that these two media channels are not to be separated. There are many indications for the social need to combine TV watching with the ability to exchange opinions with friends about the content they are watching.
In this review we will examine the current role of TV, learn on preferences concerning the use of TV online, and examine the needs surrounding TV social sharing.
1. The importance of TV:
According to a 2009 survey conducted by Pew Research Center- 52% of Americans (down from 64%) think of their TV as a necessity. Cable or satellite TV loses importance (23% in 2009, down from 33% in 2006). 24% of respondents indicating that they have reduced or cancelled cable or satellite TV subscription. A recent national survey from Arbitron and Edison Research (April 2010) shows a similar trend: more Americans said the Internet was “most essential” to their lives when given a choice along with television, radio, and newspapers. A full 42% chose the Internet as “most essential,” followed by 37% who selected television, 14% who chose radio, and 5% who cited newspapers.
In contrast – Deloitte’s 2009 “State of the Media Democracy” survey reveals a 26 percent increase in the number of Americans choosing the TV as their favorite type of media as compared to the previous year. Nielsen reports that almost 99% of video content watched in America is still done on traditional television.
2. Watching TV online:
Deloitte’s 2009: When watching their favorite TV programming, 86 percent of survey respondents prefer watching on their television set, enjoying the programming either live, via their DVR/TiVo, or using an “On Demand” feature. While less than 10 percent of Americans say they prefer watching the same content online, a growing number of consumers are using online platforms to watch their favorite TV shows.
Nielsen 2010 study suggests that online video is a replacement of DVR use, or used by those who do not have immediate access to TV. Nielsen claims that TV network content online is used to catch up with programming, and not typically as a replacement for TV viewing.
3. The needs for Social TV:
A 2009 Parks and Associates survey indicates that over one-fourth of users ages 18-24 are interested in having more social media features integrated into their TV.
ABI research (February 2009) shows that among Social Media users 36%
report they`d like to access their networks on the TV screen. Younger consumers were more interested in engaging with their friends through chat and messaging, while middle-aged respondents were more likely to be interested in more passive social networking behavior such as checking status updates. The most popular potential application for those over 50 who expressed interest in TV social networking was being able to see what their friends were watching on TV.
Sharing video content with friends: Media experiments
Social viewing is certainly a trend spotted by many players. Although Youtube’s RealTime and Hulu’s social sharing features were not much of a success, companies are still trying to find the right formula. Only recently BBC annonunced its ’s social video on demand service – iPlayer, and U.S. cable company Comcast is bringing a new site Tunerfish, that will enable users to share their favorite shows, letting people know what they are watching on internet and TV.
1. People seek to bring the web into their TV: more content (free, on demand) together with the social experience.
2. TV online viewing is growing, but that reflects people’s best current option.
3. People prefer the convenience of their TV for television watching.
4. For Google TV to succeed – it must include social features.
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