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Social TV in 2016: event recap and predictions

We recently threw open our New York office doors to co-host a panel discussion looking at the future of Social TV and predictions for where the broadcasting and social media industry is headed in 2016.

Our Community Director, Michael Cree was joined by MTV’s Vice President of Audience Growth and Engagement, Tom Fishman, The Drum’s Found Remote Executive Editor, Adam Flomenbaum, and Director of Strategic Accounts at Socialbakers, Bob Gearing. They waxed lyrical on their views on working with social influencers, social VR and short-form video content. They also gave the audience a whistle-stop tour of how emerging OTT devices like Go90, Roku, Dish and Sling TV have risen to outperform in their market and steal a march on the large networks and cable providers.

The event was the second in the series of events hosted by our agency. Our last event in May this year looked at the future of co-marketing on social with our client GoPro.

Here are our top three trends and predictions we recommend brands monitor in 2016:

Forward thinking brands will continue to leverage existing ‘social talent’ and convert them into brand advocates

Fishman discussed how MTV is trying to extend its programing to what influencers like, and how they can make meaningful connections with them. “We believe it’s not just about pairing your brand with people who are looking for a fee – influencers are not a commodity and brands should treat them more like talent”

Consumers are seeking simpler solutions to receiving on-demand content

Consumers are embracing the powerful trend of “cutting the cord”:  cancelling their cable TV service, eliminating channels they don’t watch and removing costs they don’t want to pay. As an alternative, media viewers are embracing streaming players and services, eliminating the ephemeral broadcast and providing content purely on-demand.

We believe consumers don’t make choices simply, but they make choices that make things simple. Adam Flomenbaum of The Drum suggested that the various boxes and streaming players will ultimately be built directly into the coming generation of smart TVs. Consumers will continue to evaluate based on services that offer the broadest selection of content for the minimal cost. This is where brands should focus on developing relationships for the future.

Content and data serve each other well, but only when interpreted correctly

Describing data as “the most important thing of 2016,” Fishman noted that many brands are shying away from utilizing data to optimize their social content – a practice that, when executed correctly, can lead to much-improved engagement. Flomenbaum expressed excitement at seeing how social networks will continue to use the vast amounts of data that they possess, and whether or not Facebook might look to use it to enter the original content game.

The consensus is that content and data serve each other well, but only when interpreted correctly. As 2016 approaches, it’ll be interesting to see how others look to take advantage.

If you would like to find out more about our events and our work, please contact us.