Yle Media Startup Accelerator Themes, part 4: Social TV. In the coming weeks we’ll feature some of the themes at Yle Media Startup Accelerator Program and share some interesting things that have caught our attention. See also the list of the themes on the application page
Social TV has been in the making for a long time. It’s been declared the next big thing and dead many times already in the past 10 years. First, there was a lot of hope put on IP-based set-top boxes, then came the standalone apps, and now Twitter and Facebook are leading the way.
In the era of very nice smart TV’s by Samsung and others, there seems to be fairly good ways to implement social TV features on the TV itself. Also, IPTV services provided by telcos are expected to grow very fast which means that the traditional living room infrastructure is quickly being turned social tv-ready.
At the same time, the living room -centric linear TV is facing fierce competition from digital video services, but the fight is far from over. Close to half of US households subscribe to an online video service, such as Netflix. Still, the advertisers spend more than ever on TV ads while newspaper and radio ad spending have been declining for years.
Linear or not, the social media giants have made TV their priority or even the cornerstone of the business as Twitter has done. Twitter seems to be the early winner in this race, but, for ex., both Facebook and Tumblr have been very active in going after this market and also challenging Twitter’s dominance
These general social media services are certainly not the only possibilities share the TV experience with others as some standalone 2nd screen apps are still going strong. For example, the Story Sync app for Walking Dead has gathered sizable following of fans that want to share the live TV experience together.
In any case, the consumer interest, revenue opportunities, technology and market readiness has never been this good for social/2nd screen/interactive/pick-your-buzz-word TV experience. The market is still wide open for great new ideas.
Do you have a great idea for social TV or 2nd screen apps? Remember to apply for the Yle Media Startup Accelerator by August 15th.
– Topi Järvinen (twitter.com/topij)