TV Year in Review: Sameer Deen, SVP of Univision Digital
From Social TV to Digital FOMO
The opportunity to digitize, or socialize for that matter, the TV “living room” experience became a huge deal several years ago when Twitter enabled users to share their reactions to what was happening on screen in real-time. Ever since, networks have become well-accustomed to incorporating second experiences to their digital and programming strategy in an effort to encourage digital word of mouth and to keep users’ attention. Over time, this led to deeper integration of the viewer into the show itself. Audiences can now decide the fortunes of aspiring stars, pose questions to the President in political forums, even be beamed in to a live broadcast via hologram to participate as a judge – something that a few years back one would have only expected to see in a Star Wars movie. In fact, these very efforts have driven Univision to deliver the most engaged audiences for several programs according to Nielsen Social. Most recently, during the music reality series “La Banda,” the Univision Conecta app garnered +200% time spent per session compared to other experiences on the same platform, according to Screenz.
Fast forward to 2015. FOMO has intensified to such extent that we are now virtually taking our viewers to every corner of our productions, every nook and cranny of our events and are providing them with unparalleled access to the content and high-profile personalities they follow. We’ve seen Periscope become a major tool for news events, such as the papal coverage; virtual reality is putting users courtside at NBA games; and Snapchat is partnering with networks to develop native programming on their platform.
With the proliferation of new platforms, formats and opportunities to engage audiences content creators and distributors must develop a deeper understanding of audience needs on each major platform.
And 2016 will be critical for content publishers to continue testing and scaling content formats, and distribution in order to be everywhere our audience is and offer the content they prefer. This means producing content for native consumption, prioritizing level of quality, programing through the lens of 360-degree videos, balancing live streaming and on-demand, and making content ubiquitous, beyond our owned and operated platforms. Our nimbleness with producing content and partnering with the various platforms will ensure that neither our audience nor us, the content publishers, have FOMO in this digital age where we must be part of everything.