The continuing Social TV consolidation

While last month’s acquisition of GetGlue by i.TV was perhaps the most visible sign of continued consolidation in the social TV space, the reality is that the number of players in the space has been shrinking for some time.

First there was the buy of social TV check in service Miso by Dijit, which was followed by the social TV analytics roll-up by Twitter, who this year scooped up Bluefin Labs and more recently Trendrr.

And while today’s announcement of Viggle buying Wetpaint is not technically a social TV acquisition, it is a sign that Viggle (which had tried to buy GetGlue before that deal fell through earlier this year) continues to struggle and has yet to really catch traction with users.

The reality is that startups in the social TV category are fighting two strong headwinds. First, there’s the lack of consumer adoption of standalone second screen and other social TV apps, in large part because consumers don’t want an additional layer between them and their preferred social network watercoolers, Twitter and Facebook.

The second is even when companies do find significant user adoption – such as Zeebox in the UK – there’s not a real clear path to monetization. The most obvious path is through data analytics, but with Twitter’s direct moves into this space, others could be left in the cold long term.

Bottom line, while TV is definitely getting more social, the social TV category has struggled to find a good return for investors, and it looks like some are starting to throw in their hands and move onto new spaces.