It’s No Myth, View2Gether Shares GREEK’s Social TV Stats

Social TV is a big trend this year, so we’re always eager to see how it’s being adopted out in the wild. While talking to us about his platform’s recent Twitter integration, View2Gether‘s CEO Chris Adams also shared some nice stats on how his company’s white-label social viewing service is being used by ABC Family’s show GREEK.
View2Gether
View2Gether is currently being used by ABC Family to create viewing parties around its show Greek. ABC Family had been using Lycos for social viewing. (The network did not provide a reason for switching vendors in time for our post.) The latest Greek season started on March 30 and within 18 hours of the show’s premiere, more than 50,000 people watched the show using the View2Gether platform. Additionally, the show averaged 35,000-40,000 social viewers a week online after that. Viewing parties averaged 15 people in attendance.

Other View2Gether clients include CBS Interactive’s (s CBS) Australian video portal Adikted.tv and Sony (s SNE), which plans to roll out the service territory by territory across 34 of its sites internationally, starting this summer. The Sony deal will include Crackle, so you’ll presumably be able to chat about that knife stuck in the head of Zoe Bell while watching Angel of Death.

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What’s Cookin’ on TV? Audience Participation

Please pardon the self-indulgence, but I made a kick-(expletive) chocolate cake (from scratch) this weekend. So after that successful initial foray, I’m into all things cooking, which is why this announcement about Fox’s upcoming show Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking Along Live caught my eye.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a newteevee-type show. The only hook is that the show lets you know ahead of time what ingredients you need to have and then you can cook along with the show. It’s such a simple idea that one wonders why it wasn’t done before (maybe it has been, please illuminate me in the comments!). Thanks to the web, this type of of participatory programming is more possible than ever.

It’s not a stretch to imagine taking this a step further and incorporating live tweets and Facebook messages. Ask questions while the food is being prepared, share comments (or alternative ingredient suggestions) with your friends, or submit a photo or video of your finished food to be aired on TV.

These type of interactions get us all fired up here at NewTeeVee and evidently at the networks as well. Jimmy Fallon’s team has gone to great lengths to incorporate the web into its late-night talk show, and Aisha Tyler is putting together a new talk show that will be fully “wired” with viewers able to communicate with Tyler via Facebook, Twitter and other means.

P.S. Here’s the recipe to that awesome chocolate cake (it uses maple syrup instead of granulated sugar).

Happy Birthday, Hulu — Do We Still Need You?

Has it really been a year since Hulu launched? Wow. They grow up so quick. To celebrate its anniversary, Hulu is getting social by inviting its much-anticipated (and delayed) friend Facebook as well as MySpace (s NWS) to its party. But so much has changed in the online video space since last March that we ask — does the world still need a Hulu?
hulu
Hulu calls this social network integration a “first step,” allowing you to share what you are watching with your friends, compare ratings and comments and recommend content to others. In addition to interacting with friends on Facebook and MySpace, Hulu has beefed up its own profile functionality, allowing you create your own avatar and invite others to join in your fun by pulling in your Gmail or Yahoo mail contacts.

In an attempt to get more people to participate, Hulu is also launching “the Scorecard,” which tracks how often users watch videos, how many video you rate, etc. Users can choose to keep their activities private if they want.

Sadly, what’s missing from this “first step” is any kind of communal viewing, something we are quite fond of here at NewTeeVee. So in its current incarnation, you won’t be able to watch an episode of Heroes with friends while providing running commentary at the same time.

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How Socializing Can Be a Boon to TV

Social TV is a growing trend we’re excited about here at NewTeeVee. Watching events like President Obama’s inauguration unfold while interacting with friends in real time adds new depth to our video experience. But cracking wise with compatriots online could also be a boon for the TV industry. In an article for Mediaweek, Nielsen did some research during this year’s Oscars to show how people are using online social tools while watching television and found:

  • 11 percent of people who watched the Oscars did so while logged onto the Internet.
  • People who were Facebooking during the show used the social network for an average of 76 minutes, more than double the time spent on MySpace, and more than three times higher than other portals.
  • People Facebooking during the Oscars watched roughly 50 percent more of the show than the average Oscar viewer.
  • Nielsen estimates that more than 100,000 Twitter message were sent during the Oscars — roughly 7 messages per second.

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Get Ready for Social TV and 3 Screen Video Packages

Between over-the-top video delivery, widgets and remote-less TV controls, what a television does will go through dramatic changes in 2009. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to two new research reports, people are looking for their TVs to get social, and the way we purchase TV service could be in for big changes.

As Liz found out during the inauguration, integrating Facebook with a video feed is a way to enhance the viewing experience. Turns out she’s not alone in wanting to socialize while watching TV. A new study from ABI Research found that 36 percent of those people who use social media on a regular basis would like to access their networks on the TV screen.

From the ABI press release:

When asked which types of application they would be most interested in for social TV, the answers were somewhat dependent on age. Younger consumers were more interested in engaging with their friends through chat and messaging, while middle-aged respondents were more likely to be interested in more passive social networking behavior such as checking status updates. The most popular potential application for those over 50 who expressed interest in TV social networking was being able to see what their friends were watching on TV.

This is the part of the post where I eat a little crow. I used to think that anything less than having people physically in the room with you was pointless and hollow. But since the inauguration, I’m starting to come around. Sharing a running commentary with friends or like-minded fans could actually make watching shows like Lost a lot more fun. (One trick will be getting the font size on the screen big enough to read from far away without it looking ridiculous.)

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