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15/02/2012 by

The Social EPG: The Next Step Towards Social TV?

Zapping TV viewers will soon see how many people are talking about a live show on Twitter in their Electronic Program Guide (EPG). I bet they will switch channel immediately.

Social EPG: The Next Step Towards Social TV?

Suppose a live show on Channel A indicates that 10.000 people are talking about this show on Twitter right now. But a show on Channel B has 50.000 buzzers.

Of course every human being will hit the remote control to watch the show on Channel B. That’s the real nature of social. Nobody wants to miss the talks at the cioffee machine, the next day at work.

I think this is really cool. The social EPG that was recently launched by TV Station Veronica on the iPad in the Netherlands.

This new EPG also shows the real-time buzz around TV programs on Twitter and Facebook. Meaning, you can now finally decide what TV program you want to watch – based on the buzz around this TV show on Twitter and your Facebook friends.

With this EPG, you will never ever have to miss the next day’s buzz at the coffee machine. Now how social is that…?

Veronica Magazine is the leading TV guide magazine in Holland. Weekly, 850,000 subscribers get the print magazine on their door mat. But those numbers are declining in rapid pace.

Veronica Magazine, part of SBS Broadcasting, has taken its role as TV Guide to the next level.

With the new iPad App available for free in the App Store you are able to decide what TV program you will watch, based on social media buzz around that program.

Not only a great way to guide consumers towards a more personalized and relevant way to compelling content. It might also pull floating TV viewers towards a TV Channel’s funnel, towards more viewers and advocacy.

I do not know if every Broadcaster or Channel owner will be happy with this new option, but we’ve invited many broadcasters to look at this option for many years already.

Most big broadcasters refused to look beyond their old model and were caught in linear thinking. To them I would like to say a few lines:

A. Big is only good, if big is smart.
B. It takes an architect to vision + build cathedrals; everything else is just bricks in a wall.
C. We have access to the same technologies, disruptive minds are the key differentiators more than ever.
D. Social TV might offer engagement? Would you rather have push, pull or participation?
E. Institutional control has been vaporized by consumer control. Welcome to the re-evolution.
F. How about Social DNA? Prepare your organization for participation, criticism, dialogues and relationships.

Next question: Do broadcasters, tv format companies and brands truly understand the power of a rich niche?

I.e. would a Facebook F1 TV be able to reach and engage 90 Million F1 fans around the globe?

Would Facebook Football TV be a Social TV channel that could reach and engage 200 Million football fans around the globe?

Would Sneaker TV in Facebook be able to connect to 5 Million sneaker freaks around the globe? And pull sneaker freaks through the funnel towards See, Like, Buy?

Would Fashion TV in Facebook be able to create a See, Like, Buy model for tens of millions of fashionistas around the globe?

I do not want to make this post much longer. I have been telling my vision on the future of TV in many interviews and keynote speeches the last 10 years.

And I truly understand that it was the song that no broadcaster wanted to here for almost a decade.

But maybe a few broadcasters, publishers, other media owners and CMOs out there, would like to reconsider their vision on the medium Television?

I do know that one-way communication and Television ran the show for over 60 years. But I would like to welcome you to see the re-evolution of the medium Television.

Please take a look at the next slides we created a couple of months ago: Will Addressable TV finally make TV the efficient and accountable marketing medium…

In above SlideShare deck we state that TV will transform to more channels, more platforms (cable, ip, connected), more screens (pc, tablet smartphone), open distribution, VOD, non-linear players (Hulu, Netflix, Google, Apple, Disney), Web & Social TV, Addressable TV, T-Commerce and more…

If you believe that content is king, distribution is queen but metrics is the emperor – you might also understand the power of this new Social EPG and Social TV?

What About You?
Where do you see the Social EPG or Social TV go next? We all get smarter from peer discussions, so share your ideas.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker is an acclaimed trendwatcher & pro speaker, serial entrepreneur, marketing consultant and board member at several disruptive media, technology and entertainment firms. Book Igor as keynote speaker, follow Igor on Twitter or contact him via LinkedIn.


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