In 2010, MIT’s Technology Review listed Social TV as one of the 10 most important emerging technologies. It isn’t surprising to see new companies being formed with the intention to tap a vein of gold in this new market. Mobile applications are the most popular offerings: check-ins, interactive TV guides, universal remotes, platforms for real-time conversations on Facebook, Twitter, chat … everything is being tried to create the ideal companion for TV viewers.
Last February, we surveyed the Social TV applications on the market at that time. Of the 25 we counted, some fizzled, others have since been relaunched or have changed their names. However, the most impressive thing is that in only a few months their number has doubled.
The following 50 Social TV applications are grouped into six categories. Some applications could qualify for more than one category, but we placed them based on their most salient characteristic.
Automated or manual Check-in/ Tune-in apps (12)
GetGlue is a leading social network for entertainment. Users check-in and share what they are watching, listening to and reading with friends; get fresh recommendations, exclusive stickers, discounts and other rewards from GetGlue partners.
Tap the green button when your favorite show is on and IntoNow will identify the show and episode; provide all data and links associated with it; and help you share on Facebook and Twitter. IntoNow also helps you see which shows you have in common with your friends — including whether they’ve seen the latest episode — and alerts you whenever you and a friend are watching the same show at the same time. Use it to discover new shows, discuss your favorites with your friends, and learn more about shows.
Miso allow you to check-in to TV episodes and movies to share what you watch, discover which friends have watched the same shows as you, create a list of your favorite shows and movies. Connect with your internet-enabled DIRECTV receiver to automatically detect what’s playing for faster sharing, rate movies and episodes, answer “Pick Em” questions, and more.
Rate the artists performances and then follow and compare the official ranking with the MyTVBuddy fan ratings. Read artists’ tweets and send them live messages and get the latest news and updates about the show and the artists. Check in and share with friends what you are watching. Talk to other fans and post messages via Twitter and Facebook. See where other MyTVBuddy fans are on the map and connect with them with a internal chat.
With PHILO you can win points, awards, and real prizes for watching your favorite television shows. Compete with your friends to dominate the show leader boards and prove you are the show’s number one fan. Discover what your friends are watching and what’s trending on TV. Check-in and comment on shows, interact with programming and other viewers. Share your TV experiences and the awards you’ve won with friends via Philo, Facebook and Twitter.
A social app for TV and Movies. See what your friends are watching or tune in to get points, badges, and even real life rewards and find new shows and movies.
TapCast is a app for broadcast TV and live events. With one tap, the show you’re watching or the concert you’re attending will become social, interactive, personalized, and connected. TapCast enables viewers to discover new shows based on what their friends like on Facebook, view the schedule of their favourite shows, set reminders and post messages related to the show they are watching via Twitter and Facebook.
Tunerfish lets you share what you’re watching, discover great stuff to watch, and connect with your friends around the TV shows, movies, and online videos you love. Check-in, become a fan, earn awards, connect to facebook and twitter, and more.
TVcheck is an iPhone application which automatically recognizes the program the users are watching. A social app which provides a new multi-screen experience for discussing TV content. Quizzes and challenges to become the Master of programs or TV channels and win badges.
Use Facebook authentication, let you FAN and UNFAN your favorite and most hated shows, let you see people’s comments about your favorite shows from Facebook & Twitter, and let you share your “check in” on your Facebook account so your friends know what you think of your shows.
Watchpoints is a social viewing application on mobile devices and Facebook, that rewards viewers for watching TV and interacting with their favorite shows. The proprietary audio-thumbprinting technology validates what viewers are watching and serves show-related TV content to their second screen in real-time.
WizzChat features all european television channels with the currently and next tv show title. You can activate groups of channels per country and per language. Check-in on television channels during TV shows to share what you are currently viewing instantly with your Facebook friends and the other users. Chat with other users during TV shows. Switch between channels and shows to participate to several conversations at once.
Social Gaming and Added Value Content (11)
Find out where you can watch shows and movies on your phone or online, save shows from across the web to your Universal Queue to watch later, share what you’re watching and earn badges, and see your friends’ viewing activity.
Kaibi.tv makes finding TV shows easier, by helping you select just the right content for you. It is possible to search for a specific TV show, to search for content your friends are watching and for content that is popular with your friends or the larger audience..
NyooTV.com is India’s first Premium Social TV Network. Get TV Shows and behind the scene gossips on your favorite gizmo. You can watch latest movie clips, TV shows, trailers, music videos, interviews with stars and more. You can also use your current social networks to watch, comment, recommend and share this content. NyooTV provides high quality legitimate free content at low bandwidth speeds.
Allows consumers to play along with their favorite TV programs, live games & sports and other scheduled events while competing against friends and other people sharing the experience. Also enables like-minded fans to network and assemble communities around their favorite TV programs, games and events. Finally offers a unique cross-platform offering, allowing users to compete with one another regardless of device (Web, Mobile, Tablet, Set-top Box).
Shazam for TV
Shazam for TV is an app that allows users to interact with TV shows and access exclusive content using their mobile devices. When a user tags the episode, they will be taken to a unique Shazam mobile commerce store powered by Delivery Agent. Viewers will also be able to use Shazam for TV to download wallpaper on their phone, share content on social media websites, in addition to purchasing show merchandise. One of the most unique features of this application is that users will be able to access and purchase fashion brands seen on the show.
In theChanner you can find a streaming TV channel that will interest you. Make a search, pick a tag or check out what is hot in the TopTV list, which is continually updated by viewers’ habits. Add channels you like to your Favorites and access them from wherever you are in theChanner. You can also go to the channel’s website or to their Facebook to find out more.
The TV Foundry application delivers information for entertainment. Check out what’s relevant to what you’re watching and listening to on TV or at the movies. Explore what’s trending on Twitter and Facebook while watching TV, connect with friends, and link to your favorite music store to purchase the songs you hear on TV or at the movies.
UhHuhh allows TV viewers to become active participants with their favorite TV shows. When you use the app to capture a TV screen image from your favorite show, UhHuhh will reward you in different ways. You will get to play challenges such as answering trivia questions, identifying brand names or product placements on the show. You have the option of posting these things so other viewers of the same program can compete with you or against you in the challenges. Viewers who successfully compete in these challenges can shake their mobile devices to discover prizes, coupons or other rewards given after the challenge.
Umami automatically recognizes what you’re watching and brings you photos, bios, news, gossip and conversation while you watch. Available for broadcast programs aired on all major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, USA, TNT, MTV, Comedy, History, Nat Geo, Discovery, Food and many more). Gives an access to official show pages, fan sites, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and other great sources on your favorite shows. Provides a real-time social feeds, so you can catch what friends, cast and critics are saying, and join the conversation.
Yap.TV allow to interact with your friends and show fans in real-time while watching the tube. It is a personalized TV show guide fused with streamed content for thousands of TV shows. yap.TV offers show fans interactive features such as user-generated polls, integration with Twitter and Facebook, automatic check-in to see what friends are watching, and real-time private group chat.
Youtoo TV allows you the viewer to be on TV. Simply register, find a show in which you’d like to participate, and then record your 15-second video (we call them Fame Spots), and hit submit. If your Fame Spot is accepted, we’ll let you know when to tune in and see yourself on National TV.
TV-Guide & Universal Remote Apps (12)
The BuddyTV Guide App is an universal guide that helps users quickly find what they want to watch and also recommends new shows that are otherwise buried in the guide. The BuddyTV Guide App becomes an universal remote that controls channels, volume, and selections.
Digiguide is a Offline accessible Social TV app. It provides a 7 day TV Guide that allows you to view listings in a grid or by channel. You can like or dislike shows. Search by actor or programme name and set calendar reminders for those you don’t want to miss. Share programmes on Facebook and discuss about them on Twitter.
With Dijit, your phone is a universal remote control gives you search across content from both cable/satellite providers and new streaming content providers like Netflix, and has integrated and sharing through Facebook and Twitter.
Connect with Facebook or create an account, earn badges. Select your region to obtain your local TV programming guide and see what other Fanwavers near you are watching. Currently available for china market only.
See what’s airing on TV, available on Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes, schedule your TiVo DVR, and look up show information on IMDb and Wikipedia. Sign in to i.TV with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or AOL account to access features and synching from your phone to your tablet.
Numote makes it easy find great shows with personalized recommendations, browsing content by genre and mood, and data about all your shows. See what your friends are watching, learn about their favorite shows, and watch shows together. Numote also include an interactive TV guide listings for the entire US.
SocialGuide connects you to the shows that people are talking about right now. You can use the “Genre Filter” to see the show you are most interested in. Follow the discussion, comment and share via both Facebook and Twitter.
TV listings for the US market. Get an overview of what’s on right now – the shows, the movies and the sports events. TV-Guide includes over 12 000 channels in the US.
TV Guide Mobile
See what’s on TV, manage your favorite channels and set up reminders for your favorite shows. Plus, get breaking news and photo galleries from TVGuide.com.
Watch your favorite TV shows and movies wherever you go. You can also control your TV, search TV Listings and On Demand, and schedule your DVR recordings directly from your device.
What’s on TV? from Zap2it
The app from the online TV guide Zap2it. Search for TV show schedules (movies and news), create custom TV channel line-ups and listings, add TV shows & movies to your Favorites, receive push TV show notifications, browse movie times at nearby theatres, watch movie trailers, customize your settings. Also, ‘Tune in’ to TV shows and movies on ScreenTribe, the check-in app, inside What’s On TV? and earn points and prizes.
Zeebox knows what you and your friends are watching, and it lets you all share, chat and tweet about whatever’s on. It also understands what’s on screen and helps you find out more about anything you’re watching, in real-time. Zeebox also helps you buy or download things related to what you’re watching, easily – apps, games, music, books, films, TV shows, you name it. It even acts as a remote control for connected TVs.
Chat apps (9)
Chat about the TV shows you’re watching with fans, friends and new people you’ll meet along the way. Supports TV shows on every U.S. TV network, cable or satellite provider. Can connect with both Facebook and Twitter
Fav.tv is another way to stay connected to your favorite shows. You can connect with your friends and talk about your theories from last night’s episode or simply use the social features to keep up to date about what shows your friends are watching and what they think of them.
While watching TV, enjoying the Twitter. And, user tweet quickly with hashtag about tv.
When a new episode of a hot TV show is airing live, tvChatter presents you with the most relevant real-time chatter from the Twittersphere. tvChatter provides highly relevant social media for viewing TV and allows you to connect with other TV viewers while watching your favorite shows. Read the streaming comments, reply, re-tweet, or post your own. For Twitter users who want a more intimate conversation, filter on those you follow and tweet among friends who love the same TV shows you do.
This Korean Social TV application allows you to call and share your feelings with other users while watching TV. Allows connectivity to Facebook and Twitter so you can share impressions and comment on the programs you watch.
Allows you to view tweets about Japanese television channels.
TvTweet allows you to discover in real time, thanks to Twitter, what’s showing on TV channels. The application allows you to see Twitter activity around major networks in graphic form, to see what’s being said on Twitter and to respond in real time. The application follows the following channels: TF1, France2, France 3, France4, Arte, M6, NRJ12.
This app contains a list of current TV programs for all French TNT channels. Also has a chat room dedicated to each TV program in progress to encourage discussing the program you’re currently watching with other members, allows you to rate the program you’re watching, to use your Facebook or Twitter account to log in, and to publish your messages simultaneously on Twitter or Facebook.
What’s on TV
Social network applied to the TV? It’s What’s on TV. Find yourself among fans … or friends … or between lovers … or all together. Discuss the programs you are watching live. Share your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions.
Network/channel/show related app (5)
The app for Bravo Show’s fan. Take polls, watch instant replay, share with other fans and the shows stars, add your own thoughts via Facebook and Twitter, download full episodes of Bravo shows, watch previews and never-seen clips, find out what cast members really think in their blogs, Re-live your top Bravo moments by saving them to your Favorites, get instant reactions from “Bravolebrities”, producers, and other insiders, get the inside scoop about what happened behind-the-scenes, and more.
For Discovery Channel fans. Get new videos, daily news stories, quizzes, photos, TV schedules, buy full length episodes, and more.
An exclusive app for NBC shows. Talk with fellow fans, enjoy trivia and polls, and even interact with NBC stars while watching on your TV set.
Pocket Big Brother
Use Pocket Big Brother to keep up with the latest updates on Big Brother. Also, get the latest tweets from the current HOH, as they send their thoughts to twitter. Finally, get the latest status on the house guests and their Bio’s. More will be available as the season continues.
The TV.com application delivers your favorite shows from CBS Interactive wherever you go. You can search and access tons of video including full episodes of your can’t miss shows. Personalize your TV experience by watching shows when you have the time. Catch shows from CBS, THE CW, Showtime, CNET TV, and more.
PlayUp is where friends and fans can cheer, rivals can heckle, or the couch athletes can just get down to talking match strategy. Get involved while you watch the game and share the experience with free messaging to friends and fans all over the globe. The app lets you follow a live game and create a private room for you and your friends. Your private room is connected to a live game, so you get all the live scores, updates and all your friend and group messages pumped to your mobile.
Good Bye! This was an application for following sports events, but it has recently been shut down
Vualla Social TV Companion was a customizable TV Guide with show information, Real-time Chat, Twitter and Facebook feeds, News, Polls and more…
Point of no return for social TV applications
These 50 applications – plus two others that have since been discontinued – paint a portrait of the second screen on which viewers connect with their favorite shows. If you know of other applications that are not listed in this article, please tell us about them in a comment and we will be happy to add them.
Until now, only the “early adopters” seem to be testing and assessing these new toys. Specifically, the comments posted via these applications represent less than 5% of all Social TV interactions. The other 95% come directly from Twitter and Facebook.
After the testing period, the trend is toward the direct development of second-screen experiments by TV networks. Discovery Channel and NBC are two good examples. Their goal is better management of their relationship with their audience, which it will then be able to monetize from advertisers eager to target an engaged audience.
Social TV applications have reached a point of no return. Fanvibe and Vualla are the first victims of a predictable process of natural selection. The inevitable trend is towards only one or two players per country able to attract a critical mass of users.
Created by Bazaar Labs, Miso is one of the earliest Social TV applications, with a current tally of 100,000 members. According to co-founder Somrat Niyogi, their goal is to “seize the opportunity to create an incredible second screen to bring Social TV into the living room.”
The Foursquare of Social TV
Although Miso doesn’t make use of geolocalization, its functions have a lot in common with Foursquare: “Check-in TV”, badges to be won, trendy programs of the moment, rankings for most active users and direct interaction with other members of the community. Navigation in Miso is similar to other Social TV applications like Tunerfish and Philo.
The benefit of being first
Miso is often mentioned as the reference application for Social TV. This reputation is due to its early arrival on the market and the announcement of support from investors. Google Ventures and Hearst Interactive Media invested $1.5 million in the company.
To monetize its community, Miso organized an event with the e-commerce site QVC which offered discounts if a user checked in on Black Friday. Miso is also developing partnerships with TV channels, with series and with sports events.
Can Miso become a “TVpedia”?
Following the Wikipedia model, Miso gives users the option of changing titles or show descriptions in its information files. Offered in limited access now, this may be widened to allow users to edit the entire archive on shows, series and films.
In January, Miso branched out into connected TV with the announcement of the integration of its application with Boxee. I look forward to seeing how Miso will fare in this venture, given that Boxee already has social sharing functions built in.
* This article is part of the series: Social TV White Paper: Applications that shake television.
Founded in 2008 by Harvard alumnus Vijay Kailas, Numote is an interactive TV guide available only in the United States. According to the startup’s website, the iPhone application “transforms the solitary activity of watching TV into an experience shared with friends”.
Via a now familiar process, viewers use the Numote application to “check in” with the TV show they’re watching, and an announcement is automatically posted to Facebook and Twitter. The system also provides alerts to remind users not to miss their favourite shows. Numote can also help users create quizzes and polls about TV shows to challenge their friends on Facebook.
What future for the social TV remote?
Initially Numote promoted its product as a social television remote control. In March 2010, the startup hoped to market a set-top Bluetooth receiver called Pebble which would turn an iPhone into a TV remote. We’ve since been informed that this technology was sold after it proved to be too difficult to develop.
The projected price of $70 may have been an obstacle to the marketing of the Pebble. But the integration of a remote with an application is an interesting approach to Social TV: plenty of similar systems with a set-top box already exist, like Boxee, Roku or TiVo.
What’s up, Numote?
Vijay Kailas says good things will soon be available from Numote. An Android application is in development, and a project for the integration of Numote with Samsung’s Internet@TV was a finalist at the Free The TV Challenge and won the audience award.
* This article is part of the series: Social TV White Paper: Applications that shake television.
Founded in late 2009 by former employees of ESPN and the site Yardbarker.com, originally under the name FanPulse, Fanvibe is a social TV application for sports junkies.
The Fanvibe application can indicate which team you support, place your bets on the outcome of a match and ask for your predictions on questions like “Will a player score multiple goals?” for hockey or “Which team will have the best player at the end of the match?” for the NBA.
By simply responding with their predictions, users earn points that advance their ranking, but they also win awards (like Foursquare badges) that qualify them for discounts on games or related products. Obviously they can also share their match commentary on Facebook or Twitter.
Sports are socially engaging
Beyond this addictive gaming side, Fanvibe deals with a subject, sports, that’s very engaging on social networks. Everyone has their favourite hockey or football team and we love to talk about them with our friends. Social networks make an easy and fast platform for sharing our impressions.
Consider the 2011 Super Bowl during which roughly 4,064 tweets per second were sent during the closing moments of the game. The Super Bowl beat the old record of 3,283 tweets per second during the victory of Japan over Denmark at the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
How to monetize sports fans?
To transform a good idea into a business that makes money, Fanvibe has built partnerships with leagues like the NBA, which allows them to offer match tickets as prizes.
Fanvibe awards are exchangeable for discounts on tickets or products. Comcast SportsNet, the U.S. cable operator, has been a partner for the startup in a baseball game.
Critical mass is always a challenge
Fanvibe must now solidify the initial success it experienced during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Hopefully the user base – currently a thousand active members – will expand to make it even more appealing.
Basically, sports fans enjoy interacting on Fanvibe with other addicts of the ball or puck. There’s little doubt that the iPad and Android versions of the app will be the key to expanding Fanvibe’s user base.
* This article is part of the series: Social TV White Paper: Applications that shake television.