This graphical tool maps all the ratings for every episode of every TV Series

chart

Is it worth investing a few weeks of your life in Breaking Bad? What about Game of Thrones? Or Dexter?

Here’s a graphical tool that maps all the Internet Movie Database’s ratings for every episode of every TV series—a scientific method to pick the next show that is going to make you lose countless hours of sleep.

Just got mad taking a look at some stats of the shows I love: Lost, Gossip Girl, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Dexter…

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[Source: Graph TV]

Apple TV and AirPlay Fuel Rise of Dual-Screen Apps

Dual-screen apps are a new phenomena, enabled by the advent of wireless technologies that allow for effortless pairing of a PC, tablet or smartphone with a TV. They are changing how people are interacting and “consuming” content within apps. For developers this creates many new opportunities to provide better experiences for their users, but it requires thinking about dual-screen setups from the start as well as new tools.

The opportunity for dual-screen apps is huge. And it’s more than just watching a video or playing a game: Dual-screen apps have the potential to transform the office meeting room, the classroom, the retail store, the hospital, and really any other context where people are interacting around content and information and where that information would benefit from rendering and display on a large screen such as a TV monitor.

To better understand this concept, it’s necessary to step back and reconsider the nature of how we write software and the user experience model for software.

The Evolution From Single Screen

Today, the predominant user-experience model for software and applications online is a single screen. We browse web applications on a desktop PC, mobile browser or tablet browser and interact with and consume content and applications on that screen. It is very much a single, individual user task. Likewise, we install apps onto these devices and consume and interact with information, perform tasks, make purchases, etc. through these apps. Again, this is a solitary single individual task.

As a result, when software creators plan their applications, they are typically designed and developed with this single user, single-screen concept in mind.

Dual-screen apps change all of that by shifting the software and user experience model from one user to potentially many, and from one screen (PC/phone/tablet) to two screens (phone/tablet and TV monitor). From a software development and user-experience perspective, the large monitor (which is the true second screen — versus the standard concept that considers the tablet as the second screen) becomes an open computing surface where one can render any form of application functionality, information, data and content.

Importantly, designers and developers need to shed the concept that “TVs” are for rendering video, and instead think about TVs as large monitors on which they can render applications, content and interactivity that’s supported by a touch-based tablet application.

The Social Computing Surface

While we have the greatest affinity for large monitors as fixtures of the living room, increasingly flat-screen monitors are a becoming a ubiquitous part of our social fabric. In fact, large monitors often sit at the center of any social setting. In the home, these large monitors provide a social surface for those sharing the living room space. Increasingly, monitors are a common part of nearly every business meeting room space — not for watching video, but for projecting shared content and business data and presentations that support business and organization collaboration.

Likewise, monitors are in medical and hospital settings providing visual information to patients. They are increasingly in nearly every classroom, whether through a projector or an actual TV monitor and support the presentation of information that is needed for a collection of students. Large monitors are increasingly ubiquitous in retail settings as well.

The key concept here is that this pervasive adoption of TV monitors is the tip of the spear in creating a social computing surface in the real world. Forget about social networks that connect people across their individual, atomized computing devices — the real social world is groups of people in a shared space (living room, office, classroom, store, etc.) interacting around information and data on a shared screen.

Until very recently, the way in which these TV monitors could be leveraged was limited to connecting a PC through an external display connector to a projector or directly to a TV. The recent breakthrough that Apple has fostered and advanced more than any other tech company is AirPlay and associated dual-screen features in iOS and Apple TV.

Specifically, Apple has provided the backbone for dual screen apps, enabling:

  • Any iOS device (and OS X Mountain Lion-enabled PCs) to broadcast its screen onto a TV. Think of this as essentially a wireless HDMI output to a TV. If you haven’t played with AirPlay mirroring features in iOS and Apple TV, give it a spin. It’s a really exciting development.

  • A set of APIs and an event model for enabling applications to become “dual-screen aware” (e.g. to know when a device has a TV screen it can connect to, and to handle rendering information, data and content onto both the touch screen and the TV screen).

With the existing Apple TV unit sales already outselling the Xbox in the most recent quarter, we can see a world that goes from approximately 5 million dual-screen-capable Apple TVs to potentially 15-20 million in the next couple of years, and eventually to 30-50 million as new and improved versions of the Apple TV companion device come to market.

As a result, it’s an incredible time to experiment with this fundamental shift in computing, software and user experience, to embrace a world where the Tablet is the most important personal productivity device, and the TV is a rich and powerful surface for rendering content and applications.

How Dual-Screen Apps Will Work

As we rethink the TV as a computing surface for apps, it’s really helpful to have some ideas on what we’re talking about. Below are a series of hypothetical examples of what is possible today and of course what will be even bigger as these new dual screen run-times proliferate.

Buying a House: Imagine you’re looking into buying a house. You open your tablet app from a reputable home-listing service and perform a search using criteria that you care about and begin adding potential fits to a list of houses you’d like to explore. When you select a specific house, the app detects you’re connected to an Apple TV and launches a second screen on the TV that provides rich and large visual displays about the house — HD-quality photos and contextual information about the house. Here, the power of dual screen is the fact that you and your spouse can sit in the living room and explore a house together without crouching over a computer or tablet on someone’s lap, and the house can be presented with HD-quality media and contextual information.

Buying a Car: Imagine launching the BMW app on your tablet and deciding to both learn about car models and configure a car — like buying a house, often a “social” decision between partners. On the TV, the app renders a high-quality rendition of the car. As you explore the car’s features from your tablet, associated media (photos, video and contextual metadata) render onto the large TV in front of you. As you configure your car using your tablet, it updates a visual build of the car on the large screen, providing an inline HD video for specific features.

Kids Edutainment: Looking to introduce your three-year old to key cognitive development concepts? Launch a learning app where the child interacts with the tablet application and sees visual information, animation and other content on the TV screen. Their touches on the tablet instantly produce rich and relevant content on the TV screen. Learning to count? Feed cookies over AirPlay to Cookie Monster on the TV who eats and counts with you. Learning about concepts like near and far? Tap the table to make a character move closer and away from you. Build a character on the tablet and watch the character emerge on the TV screen.

Sales Reporting: As a sales manager, you walk into your team conference room with a TV monitor mounted on the wall. You kick open your Salesforce.com tablet app on your tablet and begin filtering and bringing up specific reports on your tablet, and with the touch of a button you push unique visual reports onto the shared surface of the conference room TV. Here, the sales manager wants control of the searches and filters they have access to and only wants to render the charts and reports that are needed for the whole team to see.

Board Games: Imagine playing Monopoly with your family in the living room — one or two or maybe even three touch devices present (phones, iPod touches, iPads). Each player has their inventory of properties and money visible on their device. The app passes control to each user as they play. On the TV screen is the Monopoly “board” with a dynamic visual that updates as users play — the movement of players, the building up of properties, etc.

The Classroom: A teacher walks into a classroom with an Apple TV connected to a HDMI-capable projector that projects onto a wall or screen. From their tablet, they pull up an application that is designed to help teach chemistry and the periodic table — they can control which element to display up on the screen, and the TV provides rich information, video explanations, etc. The app is designed to provide ‘public quiz’ functionality where the TV display shows a question, presumably related to material just reviewed or from homework, students raise their hand to answer and then the answer and explanation is displayed.

Doctor’s Office: You are meeting with your doctor to go over test results from an MRI scan. The doctor uses his or her tablet to bring up your results, picks visuals to throw onto the TV monitor in the room, then uses his or her finger to highlight key areas and talk to you about they’re seeing.

Retail Electronics Store: You’re at a Best Buy and interested in buying a new high-quality digital camera. A sales specialist approaches you with tablet in hand and asks you a few questions about what you’re interested in while tapping those choices into their tablet app. From there, it brings up on a nearby TV display a set of options of cameras — based on further probing, they drill into a specific camera choices which brings up a rich visual with a video overview of the specific camera that you’re interested in.

Consuming News: A major revolution has just broken out in a nation across the planet. Timehas captured incredible audio, photos and video of the events. You and your friends sit down in front of the TV to learn more. You open the Time Magazine tablet app and bring up a special digital edition about the revolution. From the tablet, you flip through and render onto the TV rich HD-quality photographs, listen to first hand audio accounts (accompanied by photos) and watch footage from the events. The app renders a huge visual timeline of the events that led up to the revolution. It’s an immersive media experience that can be easily shared by friends and family in the living room.

Consuming Video: Last but not least, of course, dual-screen apps will be essential to any app that is about consuming video — whether a news or magazine app, a vertical website (think Cars.com, BabyCenter.com, AllRecipies.com, etc.), or of course a catch-up TV app from a TV network or show that you care about. You open the app on your table to explore what to watch, and when you’re ready to watch the show instantly pops onto your TV in gorgeous HD quality, and the tablet app becomes your remote control and presents relevant contextual information about the video, episode or what have you.

The Coming Dual-Screen Revolution

This is such a groundbreaking approach to apps and software we expect lots of others to try and emulate what Apple is doing. Already, Microsoft is promoting the ability to use its Surface Tablet in conjunction with apps built for the Xbox. Samsung has introduced features in its tablets and TVs to enable easy media sharing from your tablet or phone onto a Samsung Smart TV, and surely Google will follow suit with similar features to AirPlay in the Android OS. Apple is still early in deploying this technology — it’s sometimes flaky and a little bit hidden from end-user view — but I expect major changes in the coming months and years.

Virtually every application that exists on the web and phones and tablets likely has a dual-screen use case. Simply put, Web and app designers and developers need to imagine a world where the tablet and TV are a single run-time for their applications which each screen providing distinct value for the user controlling the app and the user consuming rich media and information on a large display. Sometimes this is just one person (like picking and watching a show or playing a game or learning something), but crucially and very often I believe that these apps will be designed with multiple users — and a social context — in mind.

[Source: Mashable]

Goodbye Couch Potato, hello Second Screen Surfer

Let’s face it, we love being entertained in the comfort of our own homes whether it’s watching funny cat videos online, streaming the NFL live, watching the MLB playoffs, or viewing our favorite television shows. Although we have had more control over when we watch TV with the introduction of the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and plenty of shows now available to view online, social media and mobile technology are changing the way we watch shows. Interaction with our favorite shows or with what we see on television is making the passive couch potato a thing of the past.

[Source: RealPlayer]

The Evolution of Olympic Communication

We recently took a look at how the exponential growth of social media since the last Summer Olympics in 2008 will reshape this year’s Games in profound ways. But tracing the evolution of Olympic communication back more than 2,000 years proves just as fascinating.

Forget livestreams, score alerts and Twitter — back in the day, Olympic results were delivered by homing pigeon. Then the advent of the “modern” Games in 1896 came during the same year as the introduction of the wireless telegraph. The first Olympic radio broadcast came more than a quarter century later, in 1924, and 1936 saw (get it?) the first live telecast. In 1960, the Games were broadcast worldwide for the first time ever. Finally, the 1996 Games in Atlanta were billed as the “Internet Olympics” — offering the first real sign of what was to come in 2012.

The network solutions company Acme Packet recently dug up all these stats and more from a variety of sources from around the web to produce the infographic below.

Among Acme Packet’s other notable findings: a billion people will receive updates, get results and watch events via digital devices this summer; mobile traffic worldwide is expected to increase by 211% during the London Games; and the Olympics’ estimated operating cost this year would be enough to cover more than 10.5 billion hours of international Skype calls.

Even more impressive though? By the time Rio 2016 rolls around, there will be more mobile devices than people in the world, and this summer’s “first social Olympics” will seem antiquated by comparison.

Check out the infographic below for the full picture, then share with us in the comments — how will you communicate with friends during this summer’s Olympics?

Pigeons to Present: The Evolution of Olympic Communication [INFOGRAPHIC]

[Source: Mashable]

MTV Movie Awards Go Social With Live Voting, Facebook Tracker and More

MTV Movie Awards Twitter TrackerMTV’s extensive social and digital tactics for the MTV Movie Awards offer viewers new ways to engage before, during and after the June 3 live broadcast.

Building off its social success with the VMAs, MTV is looking to deeply integrate social elements into its other major awards show, the MTV Movie Awards.

For the first time, movie fans can vote using Twitter hashtags. The live social voting works only for the new “Best Hero” category, which already has attracted more than 60,000 votes since Tuesday. RegisteredMTV.com users, however, can still vote in other categories on the show’s website.

Vying for the “Best Hero” title are Harry Potter (#votepotter), Katniss Everdeen (from Hunger Games, #votekatniss), Thor (#votethor), Captain America (#votecaptain) and Jenko (from 21 Jump Street, #votejenko).

MTV told us that it knows from past live-voting initiatives that fans love to get the word out to promote their favorite stars and franchises. “They love to game the system and we look forward to helping them do just that,” MTV told us. As a result, expect a showdown for “Best Hero” between fans of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter to continue until Sunday night.

MTV also has these digital elements on tap for the awards show hosted by comedian Russell Brand:

    • Twitter Tracker: Like MTV did during the Video Music Awards in August, it will dissect Twitter conversations in a visualization that displays popular moments and celebrities. The feature will allow users to view how many tweets per minute any moment is garnering and share photos of certain moments across social networks.What’s different about this year’s implementation is that MTV will be providing context around what happens at the moment of a tweet. So instead of just seeing “Beyonce” as a trending topic, fans can see a clip or image from the show that correlates with the social activity taking place online.

    • Facebook Tracker: MTV will introduce a Facebook Tracker to keep tabs on the level of Likes and shares of Movie Awards moments shared on its Facebook page.
    • All Access Live: The show’s second-screen experience for desktops and mobile devices will give viewers six camera angles (red carpet, dressing room, paparazzi, audience, balcony and MTV cut), sharing capabilities, a place to chat with fellow viewers and animated GIFs from celebrities on the red carpet. The GIFs will be posted on MTV’s Tumblr blog.
    • Shazam: The ceremony will be Shazam-enabled, meaning viewers can use the app during the broadcast to buy performers’ music and watch social media interactions.
    • Post-Show Features: MTV will have a red carpet galleries and interviews, backstage video highlights and editorial coverage of the show and winners.

A Launchpad for the Future

Some of the features that MTV is launching for the MTV Movie Awards might just find their way into the big show — the VMAs — later this summer.

In this way, the Movie Awards are a testbed of sorts for the future initiatives for the VMAs. “It just so happened that the Movie Awards are first,” MTV told us, noting that it plans to refine the most successful initiatives into its flagship awards show.

Understanding that virility is a major component to award shows, MTV wants to make it as easy as possible for fans to tag and share the best moments of the show across mobile and the desktop in as close to real-time as possible. The net result — as last year’s VMA ratings proved — is that socially engaged audiences tend to watch more.

To pump up the shareability factor even more, MTV will air exclusive footage of The Dark Knight Rises with director Christopher Nolan and actors Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman on hand for the occasion at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.

[Source: Mashable]

Music, Film, TV: How social media changed the entertainment experience

Social media is more than a digital water cooler for TV and movies. The global conversation that takes place around events and the experiences people share based on what they watch teaches us about consumer preferences. More importantly, their activity influences behavior. Behavior counts for everything. Studying it is just the beginning of course. In order to understand and eventually steer behavior, we must translate activity into insights and in turn, translate insights into actionable strategies and programs.

The Hollywood Reporter recently published an exclusive poll about social media led by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland. As the report opens, THR notes, “There’s a sea change afoot in how Americans discover and consume entertainment.”

According to the study, 88% of respondents view social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook as a new form of entertainment.

 

Hours Spent Each Week Doing Online Activities

Social networking and listening to music top the activities for Generation-C and each is greater than the time spent watching full-length movies or television shows on a weekly basis.

- 8 Hours: Visiting social networking sites.
- 8 Hours: Listening to music
- 7 Hours: Watching full-length television shows.
- 4 Hours: Watching full-length movies.
- 4 Hours: Watching video clips (e.g. YouTube)
- 4 Hours: Instant messaging

How Social Networking Impacts Entertainment Choices

The report found that 79% of connected television viewers visit Facebook while watching TV.

Pollster Jon Penn notes, “Social media is the connective tissue that enables consumers to multitask during their entertainment experiences by connecting with others and sharing their opinions.”

Additionally, 83% surf the web while viewing TV and 41% tweet about the show they’re watching.

When we look at the psychology of engagement, this next stat becomes a bit more revealing. Of those who post about TV shows, 76% do so live and 51% do so to feel connected to others who might also be watching.

Comedies, Reality TV Put Social in Social Media

Social networking is in its own right a reality show made for the web. It is its own form of entertainment. And, as the study found, an overwhelming majority of people agree. When we look at the types of programs viewers are most likely to post about while watching TV, Comedy, Reality TV, Sports and News take the top four spots.

Types of shows people are most likely to post about while watching TV:
56%: Comedy
46%: Reality TV
38%: Sports
26%: Cable News

Social Media on the Silver Screen

Digital Influence is often misunderstood, but it is potent. Influence is causing effect or changing behavior. Here, we can see that those who Tweet about movies actually influence the behavior of those who follow them.

One out of three connected consumers saw a movie in a theater because of something they read on a social network.

The report found that horror and other younger-skewing film genres benefit most from social networking. For example, more than 6% of respondents saw Paranormal Activity 3 because of social networking activity. One can assume based on psychological studies, that this form of social commerce is driven by either #FOMO (fear of missing out) or social proof.

Social Networking in Theaters…Really?

Prior to watching any movie in theaters nowadays, viewers must sit through a short spot that reminds them not to use their phones during the theater. Aside from the ringing adding unnecessary distractions to other theatergoers, the bright white screen is also disruptive as it tends to light up an otherwise dark room.

However, social networking is not limited to at-home movie watching. 55% of moviegoers have texted during a movie. Film moguls and theater owners should take note: The poll also found that an overwhelming majority of 18-to-34-year-olds believe using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter while watching a movie in a theater would actually add to their experience. Nearly half would be interested in going to theaters that allowed texting and web surfing.

Penn added, “Millennials want their public moviegoing experience to replicate their own private media experiences.”

The same can’t be said for all consumers though as 75% of respondents said that using a mobile phone would take away from the experience.

Additionally 24% and 21% have posted about what they’re watching in theaters on Facebook and Twitter respectively.

Social Media Multitasking ≠ Distraction

Gen-C is often falsely diagnosed with a thin attention span. Yet in reality, Gen-C focuses on all that’s important to them many times at the same time. They’re just wired differently and rather than challenge it or try to debunk its value, our energy should instead focus on understanding how multitasking adds to the experience.

When asked what other activities are performed while social networking, watching programs on TV was by far the most popular at 66% followed by watching movies on TV at 50%. Interestingly, 11% stated that they watch a movie in a theater while networking.

So, what are viewers saying while multitasking between networking and watching TV. It’s a bit of give and take as 67% will listen to or read what others have to say and 33% will most likely express their own opinions or thoughts.

Social Media Impact on TV Viewing Choices

How can social media drive tune-in? That’s often one of the top questions on the mind of TV marketers. As of now, serendipity certainly plays a role in contributing to tune-in. Three out of 10 people watched a TV show because of something they read or saw on a social network.

Social Media Spawns a New Genre of Critics

In the age of social media, viewers have become participants in real-time experiences. And many, are also becoming critics simply what they say and share online. Social network activity certainly influences behavior, but to what extent requires greater study.

The study found that 72% of respondents post about movies on social networks after watching a film. We can assume that those expressions are rooted in opinion and we can also hypothesis that these shared opinions in some way affect the impression of those who see them. At the same time, 20% post before and 8% post during a viewing.

This Just In…

News no longer breaks, it Tweets. Those who run social activity streams all day will tell you that they learn about news on Twitter first which then drives them to a online or broadcast news source to learn more. But, 31% and 28% of respondents reported that their main source for breaking news is cable news stations news web sites respectively.

I wonder about that data point however as it’s not clear if it is the primary source or the main source. The fact that the study found that social networks make up 19% of their breaking news source provides some clarity, but I still question the source of the flashpoint.

Social Media is Music to My Ears

It’s not just TV shows or movies that benefit from social media. All forms of entertainment lend to peer-to-peer behavioral influence. THR found that musicians also benefit from social media with 70% of respondents listening to music by an artist based on what a friend posted on a social networking site.

For those who saw or read about my interview with Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins at SXSW, certainly heard how he believes fans must step up their support for the artists that they love. And, sharing what you’re listening to is certainly one way to contribute, whether it’s through frictionless sharing apps such as Spotify or stated support by Tweeting, Facebooking or blogging support.

Social Media Tests Positive for Influence

Based on the work of Robert Cialdini, I analyzed six universal heuristics and the role they play in consumer decision making in social commerce. Referred to as “thinslicing,” consumers tend to ignore most information available and instead ‘slice off’ a few relevant information or behavioral cues that are often social to make intuitive decisions.

The THR study surfaced that more than half of respondents (56%) believe that social networks play an important role in making entertainment-related decisions. Across every genre of entertainment, respondents felt that positive posts held greater influence over their decisions than those that are negative.

Specifically, 82% are influenced in the music they listen to; 76% in the TV shows they watch; 75% in the movies they choose to see; and 74% in the video games they play.

Facebook vs. Twitter

I often refer to Twitter, Facebook and activity stream apps as new attention dashboards. THR asked respondents which networks they used and how. The answers help in how we better understand what’s of interest to consumers.

Of all respondents, 98% are Facbook and 56% are Twitter members. In terms of daily visits, 9 out of 10 visit Facebook and 1 of 2 visit Twitter every day.

When asked about who and what they follow, participants shared the following…

Companies/Brands:
Facebook = 49%
Twitter = 37%

TV Shows:
Facebook = 49%
Twitter = 30%

Movies
Facebook = 43%
Twitter = 25%

Actors/Actresses
Facebook = 32%
Twitter = 41%

Reality TV Stars
Facebook = 16%
Twitter = 23%

Journalists/Reports
Facebook = 9%
Twitter = 15%

I find it interesting that consumers connect more with brands, movies, or shows on Facebook whereas Twitter is the preferred choice for connecting with people. Marketers should take note in how people form fandoms and communities, where and how.

The State of Movie Marketing

Considering the behavior of Gen-C as well as all other consumers, marketers can’t rule out any form of promotion or engagement without understanding the balance and how each contribute to consumerism.

The study found that even through social networking is playing a significant role in movie watching and shared experiences, traditional marketing is still king in how consumers make moviegoing decisions. Trailers and previews are the biggest influence for movie choices at 40%, which can include a variety of sources for where that trailer is viewed (theater, TV, website, Youtube, etc.) TV ads still play a large role in decision making at 20%. Real world word of mouth is also a important source of the selection process at 18%. Only 9% of respondents said that comments or reviews on social networks influenced decisions.

You are Now the Architect of a Multi-Screen Experience

Processing this data is one thing. Interpreting its impact on your strategy for programming, marketing, and engagement is up to you. What’s clear is that what we think about social media, entertainment, and influence and how consumers are behaving can only teach us about how to be more engaging, entertaining, and how to create and steer experiences that matter to consumers and producers. So what’s your second and third screen experience? Have you defined it? If not, this is the time to develop an engaging multi-screen experience because it’s already happening with or without your design.

[Source: Music, Film, TV: How social media changed the entertainment experience – Brian Solis]