Social TV and Radio ‚Äì What’s next for Australia?

Social TV and Radio ‚Äì What’s next for Australia?

In the early 80’s in Brazil ad agency pollsters used to hang around busy offices around the country to sneakily capture viewer opinions about TV and Radio shows.

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Sometimes they would even hire people from the company they wanted to survey so as not to raise any suspicions. Those they hired would then collect information via the water-cooler talk. It even got to the point where they paid their ‘guys’ to talk about the new and upcoming shows to get the interest started.

This talkability, often referred to as the 'water cooler' effect, has been enhanced with the growth of online social media.

Nielsen research has shown that TV watching and social media usage are not mutually exclusive. Consumers appear to enjoy using social media while they watch TV. Many discuss what they’re watching, and these conversations continue long after air-time. The idea was not to compete with social media, but to use it so that televised shows, events, and ad campaigns won more audience and audience participation and can extend their Share of attention.

Social TV is how these ideas are being made tangible.

Having analysed over 400 individual Australian Facebook pages in the latest  Facebook report (June/2013 by Online Circle Digital) the rise and establishment of Australian Social TV and Radio is noticeable.

There are 6 TV Shows in the top 30 largest Australian Facebook pages (by Fans) along with 1 Radio station and 1 Cable TV station.

TV shows is the 2 largest category by audience with radio in 12th position, ahead of giant industries like Automotive and Beauty.

However in Social Media, it is easy to mistake popularity for credibility. After all, when access is cheap attention becomes expensive.

This is the part that got our attention!

In analysing the content from the TV and Radio pages and the responses to their content our team at Online Circle Digital identified that content coming from these categories have almost twice as much impact and engagement – and therefore reach – as any other category.

But, for my money, it will get really interesting when the TV and Radio folk stop thinking about how to get the social media numbers moving during their broadcast slot and instead think of their TV and Radio shows as cross-platform brands that include social media and that fans want to be able to engage with anytime they want.

An example of this approach is what the USA Network’s Jesse Redniss created. Digital extensions of shows from tablet comic books to games – that engage viewers and sponsors 24/7.

Australian TV and Radio are already using this trend in some interesting ways

  • support for TV ad sales
  • optimising TV ad buys,
  • audience forecasting
  • real-time optimisation
  • research and insights

We are currently working with one Australian broadcast network in the research area to utilise Social Media for real time optimisation and to gather insights and sentiment from spectators regarding selected programs and their content. The information complements other research channels creating a more robust outcome.

Applied well, social TV/Radio can create a positive feedback loop for generating sticky Programming and multi-touch ad campaigns and research.

Lucio Ribeiro is senior strategist at Online Circle Digital. For more on Australia's Facebook Performance Report click here. The full report is also available for download here.