Many of our social TV predictions for 2013 came true. From Amazon’s growth as an original TV content provider, to Netflix’s impact on social TV it was a big year for TV everywhere and the seamless integration of social into the traditional television industry that we’ve known for decades. As 2014 is only hours away here are our predictions for a year that we know will continue uproot and improve TV.
1. Facebook will purchase at least one social TV company
While Twitter’s IPO and acquisitions of Bluefin Labs and Trendrr made a huge impact on social TV, Facebook has emerged fighting hard for awareness around the social giant’s connection to the medium. Facebook has yet to scoop up any one company that’s dealing directly in television but with big relationships with companies like Mass Relevance, we may see them pull the trigger in 2014.
2. Scripted television shows will create the next wave of social TV innovations
Live TV has mastered the art of leveraging social. From news to sports, to shows like The Voice and X Factor, real-time integrations took on a whole new momentum in 2013. 2014 will be the year of social integrations for scripted TV. These integrations won’t all be real-time, but on platforms like Tumblr and reddit and with even more participation from talent like we’ve seen with Scandal and others.
3. Apple will release something huge that will affect the TV industry
This isn’t a new prediction, but more than the previous years the technology giant is poised to change the industry. This release might already have been teased in CEO Tim Cook’s recent letter to employees. Apple recently bought Topsy, a leader in Twitter analytics and a company Lost Remote released social TV data with for a few weeks before the acquisition. The release might not be an actual TV, but they’re clearly interested in social TV and have one of the best libraries of content with iTunes.
4. Binge watching and binge watching hybrids will change linear programming drastically
Now that Netflix has proved that releasing an entire season of premium content works, others will continue to follow. Amazon innovated with a hybrid binge model releasing chunks of episodes, Hulu has tried different options and Netflix is experimenting with releasing chunks of episodes with their children’s programming. While HBO, Showtime and others have released episodes online, we will see traditional TV networks cater to the binge watching culture that’s now a normal part of our daily TV viewing habits.
5. As social TV grows, so will spin-offs and sequels
Spin-offs and sequels are by no means new but with social media, networks can watch fanbases for specific shows grow, track that growth and use the analytics to help determine if a spin-off might succeed. Even Breaking Bad will have a spin-off; Better Call Saul is the perfect example of a show’s immense popularity online and within pop culture translating to a spin-off even when ratings were always record breaking. Spin-offs and sequels are less risky now because of social media communities.
6. Fans will fund more and more TV on platforms like Kickstarter
The Veronica Mars successful Kickstarter is proof that fans will fund major TV releases next year and throughout the next decade. There’s even a platform now specifically for funding TV called Mobcaster. Fan fiction and passion will turn into crowdfunded production deals and amazing opportunities for new shows and old formats to remerge.
7. Twitter will control your cable box
Twitter’s new ‘See It‘ feature is only the beginning. The platform that IPOed this year will replace your remote as the technology company continues to build ways to connect directly to your main TV provider – whether that’s a cable company or an internet device.