The Social Media Revolution Will Not Be Televised
The Emergence of YouTube as a Dominant TV Network
This Blog is Part 2 of an overall piece in how the Social Media Revolution is shaping the TV industry, and how it’s influence could change the industry forever. From a wider perspective it’s worth noting that where media influence travels – advertising spend usually follows. And so, 2013 could very well be the year social media marketing becomes the accepted majority, rather than the niche.
In Part 1, we charted the Rise of the ‘Second Screen’ and the industry’s struggle to keep up. In it’s search to stay relevant, it found an appealing partner in the real-time social platform, Twitter.
Twitter was seen as the perfect social companion, keeping the audience engaged when attention inevitably shifted to the second screen – that of the smartphone or the tablet.
However, jumping back into the stats again from that BSkyB report, it showed:
24% use Facebook to find something to watch
9% use Twitter
And this is the essential problem when relying on Twitter as a marketing platform. That, although it grabs the headlines, it is nowhere near universally adopted as industry experts would like. So, while having integrated hashtags into TV programming was indeed a good start, it was by no means the ultimate solution. Fresh, online content was needed
This is why you’ll be hearing a lot about Second Screen Apps this year. Fox are leading the charge by releasing a Second Screen App for shows like “New Girl” and “Glee”. In these apps, fans can discover a plethora of new content such as behind-the-scenes interviews, podcasts and contests. What better way to turn an armchair fan into a die-hard advocate!
But, what of online content? Surely, production resources should focus primarily on the programming itself? Recent reports argue otherwise. Indeed, a recent report by Global Web Index has indicated that social media is now more popular than TV.
The internet now makes up 57% of global media consumption
Social Media takes up 26% alone.
TV takes up just 23%.
The need to not only engage an audience online, but also provide fresh content on social media channels, is paramount. However, as TV audiences gravitate online, a competitor has been lying in wait. The video content behemoth, YouTube.
The last few months have been a significant period of announcements from YouTube. Only last month, they announced that they had reached 1 Billion Unique Users per month. And with that announcement, came a few changes to welcome this flocking audience.
First, they completely changed the layout and structure of YouTube. People were no longer encouraged to simply browse videos, but to subscribe to channels and brands (almost like you would ‘follow’ something on Twitter). As Edelman Digital noted,
By making this shift, YouTube is emphasizing the importance of a brand channel subscribers and on creating and cultivating a community of brand enthusiasts through engaging content. It is no longer a video repository and instead a true social media platform.
This change in emphasis tied nicely into their biggest announcement, that of the Original Channels Project.
Announced back in October 2011 (but now moving into this side of the pond) YouTube stepped up its assault on traditional TV by launching 60 new channels featuring broadcast-quality content. Produced by top media companies like Hat Trick, All3Media and ITN, niche programming like the “Jamie Oliver Food Channel” or BBC “Worldwide’s On Earth” is being created solely for YouTube
It is now positioning itself as a real alternative to traditional TV networks, an alternative that fits in nicely with the reported change in media consumption habits. Marketing agencies take note!
Even Simon Cowell, Mr. Nasty himself, is on-board, launching The You Generation, a talent show like “Britain’s Got Talent” or “The X-Factor”, but hosted purely for YouTube. And why not? Seeing as how YouTube transformed Susan Boyle from national to international superstar, he’d be better placed than anyone to know the power and reach of this social site.
And now, the final kick in the teeth. Not happy to host purely on smartphones or desktops alone, YouTube is making an assault on the traditional TV platform itself by developing technology where the flick of a finger can transfer YouTube’s Channel Content onto the big ‘ol TV itself.
Thus, you can watch YouTube’s content on the big screen, whilst still actively using the second screen to surf for similar content on the same social network. Ingenious.
And so, the question is poised. For TV (and even brand) marketing, which ‘screen’ will be of more importance before this year is out? If you want to invest your marketing efforts on the traditional TV route, remember the eyes of your audience could very well be on a different ‘screen’ altogether….
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If so, please feel free to click the ‘like’ buttons below, or even leave a comment. You can read Part 1: Twitter & TV, Rise of the Second Screen here, or alternatively read some of our other blogs, such as our Top 3 Tips to Be a Social Media Expert or what WE consider to be the Best Social Media Campaign of 2013.