Social TV: Broadcast Networks in Trouble | Social Media Today

Now that I’m keeping an eye on the Social TV world (see my previous How Soon is Now? posts on Social TV), I’m finding more intriguing information on the subject all the time. Today I came across this little nugget on MediaPost: Must Tweet TV: Yahoo! and EW Gauge Multi-Screen Fever.While the larger story highlighted Fall TV viewing in general (full story from Yahoo! here), there was some very interesting numbers as it related to Social TV:

47% of those surveyed check their email while in front of the tube, while 34% post on Facebook and 28% text or call their friends. A mere 12% of respondents said they “just watch the show.” (What, are their laptops charging?)

A trio of bloodthirsty series tops the list of shows during which viewers post to Facebook or tweet the most: HBO’s “True Blood” (29%), Showtime’s “Dexter” (29%), and The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (24%). But some shows are worth switching off all our gadgets for: “True Blood” (58%), along with HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” (57%) and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (57%), were the shows most often cited as ones viewers need to focus on, without doing anything else. Isn’t it nice to know that there’s still some TV out there that demands our full attention?

The most social of shows?:

1.      True Blood (29%)

2.      Dexter (29%)

3.      Vampire Diaries (24%)

4.      Game of Thrones (23%)

5.      The Walking Dead (23%)

6.      Sons of Anarchy (22%)

7.      Mad Men (22%)

8.      The Bachelor (21%)

9.      Survivor (21%)

10.    Glee 21%)

So, what do we have here? Couple of things to note – first, only two of the Top 10 are reality shows (The Bachelor and Survivor). Hmm, that would seem to be at odds with my intuitive conclusions as well as those ofAlan Wolk, who felt reality shows were a natural for Social TV. If, like me, you think Social TV is the future, what does this mean for Reality TV? Will Social TV be like the meteor that brought and end to the dinosaurs, or will Reality Shows adapt like the birds, mammals and fish that survived the Ice Age?

Second, and here’s where I’d really be sweating it if I was the program chief for ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox, only three shows (and the bottom three) from this list are major network shows.  The unique exception being the Vampire Diaries for the CW netlet (which caters to a younger – more desirable – audience). The rest of the top seven are all cable (basic or premium). In fact three of the top four are premium cable.  And here’s another problem for the networks. As they continue to make lowest common denominator content, the cable channels have been making quality programming that appeals to people with money. People who buy smartphones and iPads and nice laptops (and fancy cars and high end fashion, etc.).

Which brings us back to the old adage – content is king. Quality content (the programming) combined with compelling content (the Social TV integration) brings in desirable viewers.

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