Global media on our Social TV report
“Television companies throughout the value chain have good reason to support Social TV because they see its potential to increase ratings and therefore advertising revenue; boost pay-TV and video-on-demand income, and also work with paid transactions, such as talent show voting and merchandise sales.” See article.
“His take is that as TV and online video blur, Social TV matters even more. This is especially the case as connected TVs become more popular because most connected TVs have social apps built into them. 'As Internet-connected screens proliferate, viewers will be flipping between TV and online video almost without noticing,' said Futurescape Director Colin Donald.” See article.
“The blurring of divisions between television and the internet means social media is becoming a vital channel for broadcasters, Futurescape, the research firm, has argued.” See article.
“Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are now going after the big media prize: billions of worldwide TV advertising dollars. A new Social TV report from media researcher Futurescape says the next leap in the social-marketing world is pursuing the business of social television, tapping into an $180 billion worldwide ad market.” See article.
“A report by UK digital media and television researchers Futurescape released this week shows how new trends in television technology are pushing social media into the lounge room.” See article.
“A Futurescape report predicts Facebook will fight Twitter for the $180bn global TV ad market as these social networks and back channels are formally built into new TVs. While social media has some impact on TV ratings now, the report predicts recommendation, discovery and content sharing will be central to pay-TV services in the future.” See article.
The Birth Of Online TV second edition
Quoted in Variety, HuffPo and more publications
While the future of television is continually being debated, the news media are starting to analyse the significance of Web shows for the entertainment and advertising industries.
As Futurescape is a key source of independent research on the sector, the second edition of our pioneering report The Birth Of Online TV is receiving even wider coverage than before, both trade and consumer.
There’s a comprehensive write-up by Jennifer Netherby in Variety's Video Business.
(Somehow, our news always shares the front page with a cute CGI critter.)
Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher (the main trade magazine for the US newspaper industry), quotes our findings in his Huffington Post article, After Emmys: Are Web Series a New Threat to Primetime TV?
Greg’s article evidently has touched a nerve, being extensively tweeted and retweeted.
Other entertainment industry press includes:
- The Business Week Internet television blog
- The Informa newsletter New Media Markets (subscription only)
- The digital edition of Cynthia Turner’s e-mail newsletter Cynopsis
- Media news specialist MediaBistro
- IPTV news site TVover.net
- Web Series Magazine
Web shows as branded entertainment, funded by major advertisers, is the focus for Brand-e.biz andProduct Placement News.
In consumer media, Keanu Reeves and other stars appearing in or making Web series is the hook for Home Media Magazine and the home theatre blog Wired At Home.
The relationship between a Web show and its fans, which we’ve written about extensively in our WeVision report, is evident in this screenshot from Twitter (left).
American soap star Crystal Chappell retweets the TVover.net article mentioning her forthcoming series Venice - and her fans pass it on.
The original release is here on PRWeb.
WeVision research findings
From Variety's Video Business
Study: Interactive Web series more successful
DIGITAL: Social media used to attract viewers, advertisers
MAY 6 | DIGITAL: What do top Internet video series The Guild, Diggnation, The Gap Year and Sofia’s Diary all have in common? They use social media to engage their audiences, making the viewing experience more interactive and luring in viewers and advertisers, according to a new case study, “WeVision: The Four Steps to Online Media Success,” from digital media research company Futurescape.
UK Web Shows Now research findings
Click image to read full text of Broadcast news article.
“As traditional TV funding comes under threat, the Web offers a way forward.
Far-sighted indies are already carving a new niche in Web-only content, as the report from research company Futurescape reveals.”
Emily Booth, editor, Broadcast
Extensive media coverage for the research included: news article and the editor’s column in Broadcast, plus other news articles in New Media Age, Brand Republic, Netimperative, and The Stage, which emphasises brands bypassing broadcasters for online product placement opportunities.
Online drama opportunities
Online drama opportunities – our article for scriptwriters in the Writers' Guild of Great Britain magazine.
UK broadcaster’s digital revamp puts Emmerdale front and center online
(ITV company profile)
Comments on ITV.com strategy in an interview with David Simons of Informa's Converging Media:
Since product placement isn’t allowed on UK TV, there is an argument for shying away from cross-platform programming. "I can see why the broadcaster wouldn’t want to take [social network] Bebo’s approach that uses product integration within original web drama series, because ITV wouldn’t easily be able to restructure that content for broadcast on air," says Colin Donald, director of UK based online-television-research company Futurescape. "However, it’s surprising to see the likes of Bebo being allowed to set the pace for younger audiences, when it’s so important for ITV to pull in that demographic. There must be a way for ITV.com to take the lead here instead of just repurposing TV content."
Donald suggests a 360-degree approach along the lines of Bebo drama series Sofia’s Diary, which has been able to attract a young audience by having a multiplatform presence online, on TV, in magazines, on teen radio and via mobile (see "Brands get in," p. 1). "There is a strong case for ITV experimenting on this basis, even if not for short-term financial rewards, just to learn the lessons for when original web content really begins to take off," he says.
"I can see why ITV would want to stick with the prerolls, as nothing else has been proven yet in this market, and ITV viewers do accept them,” Donald says. “But it’s not enough to just repurpose the TV ads. I would have thought this was a good opportunity for ITV to take an online leadership role, getting the brand managers and the ad agencies, and even the tech providers, around a table and trying to see what’s possible."
Getting the advertising right is also important for friend-finder network Friends Reunited, which ITV bought for £120 million in December 2005. When it was acquired, the social network had 1 million subscribers and 15 million users, but the success of free social-networking destinations – such as Facebook – has taken its toll, and the property was down to just 2.4 million unique users in March, according to ComScore metrics. ITV ditched the subscription model a few months ago.
"In the past, it [Friends] really was just an online directory business with millions of names on it,” Henry says. “We want to turn it into a social-networking site for the over-30s age group that haven’t gone to Facebook or MySpace."
But can Friends Reunited be integrated with ITV.com?
"We might be able to create communities on Friends Reunited built around some of our programs, such as Coronation Street,” Henry says. “Or there is a potential for friends to go into nostalgia mode, and so we can offer them archived content from Kangaroo. But we are not going to force programming into Friends Reunited, but rather have it there as a simple add-on. We are more interested in generally increasing ITV’s online presence, whether this comes from ITV.com, ITV Local, Kangaroo or Friends Reunited."
"I can see that it would be difficult to integrate Friends Reunited into ITV.com,” Donald says. “It would require a massive amount of rebranding, which could alienate members that are not necessarily natural ITV viewers. The real challenge is to try and revitalize the site after a relatively fallow period, but turning it from an online directory to a social-networking site is not going to be easy."
What do Web shows cost?
Daisy Whitney at TV Week uses the production cost analysis from Futurescape's The Birth of Online TV report for a fascinating comparison of current Web shows in her New Media Minute video.
From New Media Minute:
What does it really cost to produce a Web video series? $200 per minute or $2000? Or maybe $20,000? Daisy Whitney's "New Media Minute" gives you the low-down.
The numbers may surprise you. This week's "New Media Minute" breaks down a range of costs for Web series such as “Dorm Life,” “Sanctuary” and “Foreign Body” and compare those price tags to traditional TV.
Online TV myths
Gavin O’Malley at MediaPost, which is essential reading for media planners and buyers, writes:
“Thanks to viral marketing, engaging and well-produced content will distribute itself online, right? Wrong, according to a new report from Futurescape, a London-based digital entertainment R&D firm, which details several myths related to original Web content production in the U.S. and U.K.”
He goes on to discuss in detail three of the myths we identified in our report The Birth of Online TV:
1) Good content will automatically go viral (it actually requires promotion)
2) Internet shows are cheap (in fact, there is a wide range of budgets)
3) The industry is still in an experimental phase (complete end-to-end production models are already in place)
Don't be left behind in the online TV stakes
Our letter to Marketing magazine: how Internet television shows are leading the way in branded content.
Don't be left behind in the online TV stakes (Marketing 7 May 08, p26)
Your features on the importance of branded content (Advertisers starting to fund and distribute content, 15 April) and online television (Web lowers cost of brand-funded content, 22 April) are very timely.
Online TV opportunities
Will agencies and indies grasp the new opportunities offered by online TV? (Broadcast and Campaign)
In this week's issues of Broadcast and Campaign magazines, our letters argue that Internet television offers indie producers the chance to launch global hit shows and that it is also at the very forefront of how advertising and content will work together for the rest of the century.