Social TV’s Hype Cycle: Reaching the Peak of Expectations

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Gartner’s Hype Cycle is a tool which gives insights on the state of technologies trends based on their curve. By understanding the current status and what phases it surpasses, companies could understand what’s out there awaiting them. Because the converging TV industry involves so fast, Social TV’s Hype Cycle will transform fast.

One aspect of finding out where Social TV is standing, is finding out about the attention it gets from the press and overall traffic. It’s not a full investigation, but press creates expectations based upon input from the industry.

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Social TV’s Hype Cycle: Reaching the Peak of Expectations

  1. 1. Social TV’s Hype Cycle:Reaching the Peak of Expectations By Gianluigi Cuccureddu April 23rd, 2011 Discuss and feedback this article on the 90:10 Group blog Head of 90:10 Group Netherlands CMO Agora Media Innovation Connect through LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/gianluigicuccureddu Tel: +31 (0)6 41362612
  2. 2. Social TV’s Hype Cycle: Reaching the Peak of ExpectationsGartner’s Hype Cycle is a tool which gives insights on the state of technologies trends basedon their curve. By understanding the current status and what phases it surpasses, companiescould understand what’s out there awaiting them. Because the converging TV industryinvolves so fast, Social TV’s Hype Cycle will transform fast.One aspect of finding out where Social TV is standing, is finding out about the attention itgets from the press and overall traffic. It’s not a full investigation, but press createsexpectations based upon input from the industry.By investigating the traffic on the keyword ―Social TV―, Google Trends will give anoverview of this keyword, where does most traffic comes from and the letters present mediacoverage. Of course there’s much more coverage, Google Trends gives a snapshot basedupon parameters which I don’t know.For years we’ve seen an increase in traffic, 2010 however shows a more drastic growth inpress mentions and traffic. If I compare this to the coverage on AppMarket.tv on Social TV, Isee a same growth. (AppMarket.tv has been set up in Q2, but we’ve been into Social TVsince 2007).Below you’ll read an explanation of Gartner’s Hype Cycle, where Expectations arecompared against Time.
  3. 3. Observations – QuantitativeIf we relate the abovementioned graph against our coverage and Google Trends, we see anincrease of traffic, which can be related to ―Mass Media Hype Begins‖. Being relative itdoesn’t have to mean we won’t see an even greater increase, but when SFGate, MIT, Wired,Deloitte and others are promoting Social TV as becoming important, we can conclude thearrival of Hype.Beside traffic and type of press, there’s also an uplift in ―First generation products‖ and―Startup companies, first round of VC‖. Think of Philo (VC infusion), Miso (raises $1,5M),GetGlue (raises $6M from Time Warner) and others.Observations – QualitativelyMore important, is the content of coverage. As mentioned above, the more important theentities are, reporting on Social TV and its rise, the sooner the industry will head towardsthe Peak of Inflated Expectations. Names like MIT, Wired, Deloitte are leading academicinstitutions and companies. If we look at the VC side, companies like Time Warner, GoogleVentures, Union Square Ventures and RRE Ventures, are as well leading entities that – withtheir investments – set predictions and expectations towards Social TV.When a prominent person then predicts that Social TV is going to be huge, we havedefinately reached a certain basic believe and trust in success:Cory Bergman over at Lost Remote picked up a brilliant quote from Endemol’s CEO thisweek.―Everyone says that social television will be big. I think it’s not going to be big — it’s goingto be huge,‖ Ynon Kreiz, CEO of the Endemol group, the largest independent televisionproduction company in the world, told attendees at the Digital Life Design (DLD)conference this week.
  4. 4. Where do we go from hereThe Hype Cycle shows also a second insight, namely the one of anticipation and influence,that will determine the course and speed of Social TV. The graph below shows the educationof Social TV, demand and supply.While our network partners and ourselves at AppMarket.tv have been reporting andsharing market intelligence, at the same time, we have created analyses to also underpin thechallenges that Social TV will meet. Customer Success Stories is what will become importantin the Trough of Disillusionment, where unmet expectations and (potential) dissapointingresults will create the start of negative press (see second graph).This doesn’t mean at this point there aren’t success stories, but a critical mass is needed totake along the industry, but it’s about critical mass and these particular cases that will befrontrunners in the application of Social TV.Social Media as a means and an endThe most powerful media are people (social media) and the TV industry can advantage fromthis, be it as a means (as research, viewer validation, trendspotting and so on) and as an end,wherein social technologies are integrated in formats and TV business to create newexperiences.By doing so, the control will be diminished, where it can do so it’s -again- not a bad thing,but an opportunity to co-create.

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