Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trendrr Aquired, Twitter Continues To make Television a Foundation of its Business

Less that two weeks ago we were reporting on Twitters continuing moves into television with a trending product experiment and highlights on how they have been acquiring companies and commissioning studies to make television a bedrock of its business.  Today news broke out on a blog post by Trendrr founder Mark Ghuneim, "Twitter has acquired Trendrr". If your not yet familar with Marks company, Trendrr tracks and analyzes conversation about TV shows on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.  Taking it one step further, Trendrr  not only tracks conversations, but offers curated tweets on a certain subject or from certain sources through its Twitter certified product, the aptly-named Curatorr.  Currently they list ABC, MTV and Univision as clients and state that they will honor its existing contracts, but won't be signing new ones. The deal comes a month after a Trendrr study reported that Facebook has five times more TV chatter than Twitter - a study that likely won't be repeated!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

STB & Dongle Sales Higher than forecast Thanks to Chromecast

According to ABI Research senior analyst Michael Inouye, the smart set-top box and dongle market is expected to pass 18 million units in 2013 – higher than originally forecast, thanks to strong, early demand for the Google Chromecast streaming dongle. The initial stock of Chromecast devices at online sources such as Amazon sold out rapidly thanks to the low price ($35) and a promotion that included three free months of Netflix.  Meanwhile, customers who purchased the Chromecast at Amazon after the cut won’t get their hands on the product until mid-September, or longer.
Inouye expects more dongle form factors in the smart set-top box market. The price of these devices will also allow lower tier TV manufacturers to separate the connected TV component, keeping prices lower and enabling customers the option to upgrade the connected platform as desired without replacing the TV. Competition from a range of connected CE devices will still remain stiff as the smart set-top box and dongle market offers an equally compelling user experience often at significantly lower price points. At this point “Google’s Chromecast device in particular sets a new low price bar for the connected CE market and as more applications are added to its library its value to price ratio will continue to grow,” according to analyst Michael Inouye.

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's Official, Cord-Cutting is No longer a Myth

Leichtman Research Group released its latest analysis of the pay-TV industry today. What did their findings uncover?  Their review of the 13 largest multichannel video providers in the U.S., representing 94% of the market, lost a combined 345,000 net video subs in the second quarter. That compares to the 325,000 subs those providers lost in the second quarter of 2012 and 2011.

In a separate report published this month by IHS, they identified that Internet pay TV is leaving cable and satellite providers in the dust.  From April to June, Verizon Fios and AT&T each boasted a 300,000 increase in subscribers, while cable and satellite providers lost a combined 750,000 subscribers. The report credits the decline to consumers' opting exclusively for over-the-top devices or services such as Netflix to watch TV.  Snip-Snip.... More: MCN - 08/19/13 Major U.S. Pay TV Providers Lost 345,000 Subs in Q2

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Twitter Testing TV Trending Feature

As we have reported here on SMM before, Twitter is getting even more cozier with the television industry. The move is hardly a surprising one: In February, Twitter acquired social TV analytics firm Bluefin Labs, a sign the site is doubling down on its social TV efforts. Twitter also teamed up with Nielsen in December to create the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating for the fall 2013 season, which will provide a "common benchmark" from which to measure a TV program's engagement.  So what Twitters next big bet on the TV business, a new feature that would see currently-trending television shows appear prominently within the timelines of users.

According to reports across the blogosphere, the 'Trending TV' experiment is currently being tested on a small percentage of iOS app users who are seeing a show-specific box at the top of their timelines when they refresh their feeds. In its essence, the proposition seems quite similar to second-screen apps like GetGlue and Zeebox that already use Twitter data to generate virtual chat rooms where viewers discuss ongoing shows.  Combine this with last month’s launch of Twitter TV Ad Targeting, a new service designed to enable Twitter and TV ad campaigns to be synchronized and its easy to see who is quickly becoming the next 800 pound gorilla?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

San Francisco Startup Stringwire Acquired by NBC

News gathering done at the source by Smartphone toting witnesses has been around for a while as the technology has grown and evolved. Twitter itself has become the go-to source for many kinds of widely witnessed breaking news, such as protests and plane crashes. Stepping up to the plate in support of this trend NBC News announced it has acquired the user-generated live video service Stringwire as part of an effort to beef up its newsgathering efforts. “Stringwire is at the leading edge of user-generated video products, with immediate value to our on-air and digital businesses,” explained Vivian Schiller, senior VP and chief digital Officer at NBC News. “You could get 30 people all feeding video, holding up their Smartphone’s and then we could look at that,” Schiller told the NY Times. “We’ll be able to publish and broadcast some of them.” For breaking news and stories, Stringwire has the ability to recruit and direct contributors based on geographical location via Twitter and then to instantly access their live footage. According to Schiller NBC will utilize Stringwire’s technology to provide its TV and digital platforms with new tools for newsgathering and for using eyewitness user-generated video content.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Nielsen: Tweets Actually Influences TV Viewing... Really!

No surprise but this week Nielsen released research that conclusively states that an increase in Twitter commentary about a TV show can increase viewership of that same show as it airs live.  By analyzing minute-to-minute trends in Nielsen’s live TV ratings and tweets for 221 broadcast primetime program episodes using Nielsen’s SocialGuide, the study found that live TV ratings had a meaningful impact in related tweets among 48% of the episodes sampled.  The results also showed that the volume of tweets caused significant changes in live TV ratings among 29% of the episodes.