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Social TV: The Next 12 Months

What does the future hold for Social TV? For Social Media Week we hosted a special panel discussion in our New York office to find out. The panel, led by Digitas’ Jordan Bitterman, SVP, Social-Mobile-Content Lead, covered the evolution of Social TV—and how the experience might change moving forward. Bitterman moderated a discussion with Lisa Hsia, EVP, Bravo Digital Media; Greg Rivera, Senior Director, Xbox Advertising Sales; and Natan Edelsburg, staff writer, LostRemote and VP of Sawhorse Media.

Each panelist expressed a diverse opinion of the current state of Social TV. Hsia described it as a couch with an unlimited amount of seats, a far-reaching platform with the potential to curate, amplify, and create content. Rivera provided a broad definition, where audiences watch television while interacting with each other in real time. Edelsburg referred to the redefinition of viewership due to additional screens, which allows television creators to interact with viewers before, during, and after air-time. In an increasingly on-demand world, viewing experiences are not necessarily in real-time. He also asserted that the real Social TV is happening in between episodes and seasons, urging creators to continue storylines and character development while off-air. Just think about the big following behind Modern Seinfeld on Twitter.

All three panelists agreed that regardless of the platform, content remains king. Each spoke of the importance of social TV for marketers, with the potential for engagement, emotional connection, and even editorial input as the line between publisher and marketer blurs.

As for the future of Social TV? Hsia predicts a continued growth in mobile activity, while Rivera feels interactive programming will move beyond live events to give audiences the opportunity to collaborate and influence the outcome of a scripted television program. Edelsburg foresees a different economic climate in terms of international television distribution as content becomes increasingly shareable.

The consensus: the possibilities for Social TV are endless, and its potential is still growing.

Couldn’t make it to the event? There’s another good recap up on, plus check out this photo of the panelists here—with more to come. You can also see a shorter take on Social TV in these Vines from Lisa, Greg, and Jordan here

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