By Sandy Sulmoni
The new trend? Surfing in internet while you watch TV. But not to get distracted in the net. It’s to do more: interacting with other people and commenting the TV content. Welcome in the era of Social TV!
Television + second screen + interaction = social TV
You don’t have to wait for the coffee break of the next day if you want to talk about what you watched on TV, or share the couch with someone else. Thanks to social media, blogs, apps, etc., you can easily comment and discuss TV content live. That’s the goal of Social TV, no matter if it is with Notebooks, Smartphones, or other “second screens”.
Let’s check out a Swiss example. The program “Giacobbo/Müller” on the Schweizer Fernsehen has a personal hashtag on Twitter. During a past broadcast, some users shared their opinions about the hosts, but many more discussed the ugly tie worn by one of the two moderators. As this example shows, in some cases reading the comments can be as entertaining as the program itself.
If you speak a little bit of German, I invite you to watch this video summarizing this new way of watching TV, produced by the German broadcaster ARD.
Is the Swiss audience modern?
Could we be lagging behind? This phenomenon is on the rise in our country. I’m sure that if I ask how many of you have already used social TV, for example while watching a football match or a TV series, I’d receive lots of positive answers.
Watching television while using internet isn’t so rare. As a study published by Publisuisse shows, this parallel use is the norm for 37% of the people interviewed between 15 and 59 years old. 15% of them exchange comments with other members of the audience about the current TV program they’re enjoying. Concerning the frequency, according to a report written by the firm zehnvier, 20% of the people interviewed watch TV in a social way at least once a week. This most occurs through Facebook (71%), while Social-TV-Apps seem to be not very used.
However, as we can read in the study of Publisuisse, the majority of the experts interviewed (78%) forecasts that watching TV passively will still play a big role in 2017.
Some initiatives made in Switzerland
In Switzerland, as well as around the world, companies are beginning to embrace Social TV.
One of the Swiss pioneers is the private channel Joiz. During the 24 hours a day broadcasting, the audience can easily vote, comment, ask questions, etc., through its website, social media and mobile phones apps. Some comments are broadcasted or read live by the moderators.
Another example of Swiss initiative is the function “TV Lounge” lanced by the portal Teleboy. Integrated in the traditional TV-Player, “TV Lounge” allows you to see what your friends are watching and to comment, chat or share your opinions on Facebook and Twitter.
Concerning the Swiss public service, SSR SRG is considering Social TV as part of its future strategy. In fact, as said in a press release, it wants to provide the audience new television types by combining traditional television with Internet. For the moment, the “second screen” is being tested by the broadcasting organizations RTS and SRF, while RSI has still to have patience.
As we can see, Social TV seems to become part of our life. Do you think that we will reach the point of seeing the journalists Darius Rochebin, Franz Fischlin or Roberto Cattaneo reading our comments and tweets during the news broadcast?