The Future of Social TV is a Multi Screen Experience [video]

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published a study that found 50% of cellphone owners use their phones while watching TV. Connected viewers are not only driving the rise of Social TV, their activities are opening new windows for real-time multi-screen experiences that require design.

Joining me on this episode of Revolution is Jesse Redniss, SVP Digital of USA Network. His work already looks beyond how to make programming social. Redniss and the team at USA Network are drafting a blueprint for a multi-screen experience that spans from the TV to laptops to tablets and smart phones and the social networks that link them together. This about writing a story for the TV as well as storylines and desired outcomes for second and third screens that people are already using as they watch. The difference is that today connected viewers use these screens without direction. As you’ll hear, each screen requires careful consideration and design to create a connected experience not just during the program, but also in between episodes.

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The End of Business as Usual is officially here…

  • Pappas Group

    Great interview, Jesse. It’s interesting to hear your perspective on the second screen and social TV. Also enjoyed your insight re: challenges, as well as opportunities, facing cable networks. Look forward to keeping up with your work at USA.

    • Jesse Redniss

      Thank you so much, was great to talk with Brian and jump right into a hot topic in our industry. Brian is amazing and felt quite at ease in the interview right away. Happy to discuss anytime!

    • briansolis

      Jesse, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you and have you on the show. You are blazing the trail my friend…

  • Inge Haryati

    I had similar discussion. We found that in particular topic of TV show has raised amazing trending topic in social platforms. It was very interesting to find multitasking audiences, which means integrated media grows fascinatingly. Now its even bring out question: media shaping audience, or audiences shaping media?! :)

    • briansolis

      I think it’s a bit of both…I believe the future is in experience architecture. :)

  • Mohammed Al-Taee, PMP

    Engage Father,

    Can you Blog deep about Psychographic :) ?


  • dbcsg

    First, I think USA Networks is brilliant in hiring Mr. Redniss and it sounds like he is helping to build a team where “silo” is a dirty word. Bravo! (NPI ;>) I continually find it astonishing how far behind Hollywood can be where adopting new technology is concerned – remember how long it took them to embrace the Web? Anyway, a few questions for both Jesse and Brian. Jesse: I love how you see the opportunities for writers to have channels for all their hard and creative work beyond the TV screen, making you a hero for the writers and their art. From your comments about finding the largest audiences with psychographic x y or z it sounds like there is consdierable focus on content as commodity and not art. How do you achieve a balance between being a champion for creatives and trying to tailor creative direction to fulfill advertisers demo/psychographics? Brian: The production quality of this and recent interviews (Loic, Batstone, Srabian ) is hands down gorgeous. I just have to bring up, with all due respect, a comment from Linda Ellerbee, which I recall from her early ’80s show with Lloyd Dobyns, “NBC News Overnight”. It was something like, and I’m paraphrasing, “if you can leave the room while my show is on I might as well be producing radio”. What creative decisions do you make to decide when an interview might be best produced as a podcast vs video? (Linda if you’re reading: “And so it goes” )

  • madonna machado

    Transforming my business into a blogging business has deeply set my sights way past what I thought I could. This article about writing and creating , what I call a good blogging story , is what I will stay on task. Thank you for sending me this article and keep on blogging, I hope

  • Gayle Baigelman

    Such an interesting topic. I have teenagers and when I see them “watching TV”, they have their computers open beside them and their smart phones in their hands, and everything is always active. I incorrectly assumed that this generation had a terrible case of attention deficit syndrome that would come to bite them in the ass at a later date. But now I think that’s a reflection of my age/experience and is an flawed bias. Listening to Jesse speak of this “trans-media experience” that drives participation and engagement is illuminating. In fact, something that seemed to me to be a narrowing of experience (short attention spans, multi portal experiences, etc.) has morphed in my mind into an creative opportunity both for the content creators and the content receivers, who can “own” these experiences in a totally new way.

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  • Linda Manvell Bradshaw

    My parents have been staying with me while they recover from some serious health issues, and they claim that I am addicted to the computer… when I bring my laptop and cellphone into the living room at night and sit down on the sofa to watch some TV with them they often express their confusion as to why I even bother with the television! They don’t seem to realize that I am multi-tasking. I have found it very interesting to see how many people are tweeting comments or posting to Facebook their reactions to what they are seeing on TV. I find it quite interesting how social watching TV has become.

    • briansolis

      I love love love your comment. Thank you.

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  • Kim Tronic

    I love it! In this day and age, we all have ridiculously short attention spans, and clearly almost everyone is watching TV while playing on their cell phone/ tablet/ iPod/ any other electronic gadget. And beyond that, watching TV has become a social experience. I’ve noticed that more and more, the Bravo Network (yes, I admit, I love the Real Housewives franchise…..don’t judge me!) is airing “social” episodes, where viewers’ Tweets will appear in a feed on the bottom on the screen. TV has become an interactive experience. And now, being able to view a show across several platforms seamlessly, it’s a couch potato’s dream! Where do I sign up?

  • Juan Barnett

    I just posted piece today on this very subject. In my opinion the biggest hurdle is the technology. That is, the simplicity luxury of being connected from the time you start viewing programming and move from one device to another and having that device easily go from primary viewer to supplemental content with east. That is where Smart Glass comes in.

    Monday Xbox released a video of new software called Smart Glass. It is rumored (according to Major Nelson) the apps will launch in two days (Friday). Smart Glass connects users to programming from the very beginning and works across multiple media types (movies, games, live TV, etc.) and across any connected device.

    The hurdle is a behavioral one that can be solved should the proper technology be put in place to alter that learned human behavior. Once we reach for our tablet to turn on the TV, we will truly have entered into the second screen era.

    Long time reader, infrequent commentor.

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Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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