TV planning: The future of social TV

Paul Armstrong
Digital Orange Consulting

Social TV often falls short in matching technology to consumer needs. The success of Google Glass may be the key to the medium's future, argues Paul Armstrong of Digital Orange Consulting

With social media ad format spend equating to around £250 million of the £3 billion total digital adspend (Jan-June 2013, IAB) – a growth of 53% – it's easy to see why Social TV is increasingly getting people excited and nervous at the same time. What with the rise of binge viewing, streaming services like Netflix exploding and new disruptive technologies like Aereo emerging, TV is not having an easy ride as it struggles to move fully into digital, retain control and yet give the consumer what they want.

Social TV (also referred to as 'second-screening'), in particular, is on the lips of many people as we start 2014 and for good reason; mobile device penetration, tablet use and social platform ubiquity all continue to point northwards with increasingly complex transactions previously saved for the desktop (including banking and shopping) now becoming commonplace while on the move or completing a second activity. At least, that's what many are being led to believe. Using the simple framework I devised – Technology, Behaviour, Data (TBD) – to evaluate ideas, platforms, campaigns – pretty much anything – it is clear to see that Social TV has some issues.

Technology – can the technology do what you are asking it to?