Social-TV apps: understanding consumer behavior and the evolving ecosystem

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Technology trends and the consumer experience
  3. Ecosystem analysis
    1. Social-TV industry competitiveness and summary
  4. Business models
    1. Selling engagement to broadcasters
    2. Selling engagement to advertisers
    3. Selling the data to everyone
    4. Unexplored: paid content and freemium and loyalty programs
  5. Recommendations
  6. Conclusion
  7. About Nicole Anetra Lewis


A new category of digital media has emerged in the living room: social TV. This relatively new concept can be defined as any application, website or software that allows viewers to interact with television programming and share that interaction with others. Interactive TV allows consumers to vote, recommend, shop, share or influence the story; social TV lets people share the nature of their TV engagement with others.

Currently social TV occurs in three ways:

Organically. Consumers post and message one another about the programs they are watching using smartphone apps, PCs or plain SMS.

Pure play. This involves using mobile apps such as GetGlue on the tablet or smartphone.

TV-native or set-top-box-enabled communication. This is done via webenabled television or applications or features on set-top boxes or living-room entertainment systems like Boxee, TiVo, Apple TV or Xbox.

This report will focus specifically on pure play. (Television here will be defined as any video-based programming originating on the living-room screen, both original-air television programming and time-delayed or catalog television content.)

Key questions addressed are:

  • What is the consumer adoption currently, and how will it grow and change?
  • What user experiences are most resonating with consumers?
  • Who are the players in this space?
  • What business models are evolving in this space, and which models and players are likely to succeed?
  • What competitors are on the horizon?
  • What kinds of enabling businesses can be established to profit from the consumer trend to link television viewing with the social graph?


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