Facebook And The Future Of TV

While all my social media friends and fellow analysts have been running around Austin for South by Southwest's annual conference, I have been holding down the fort and keeping an eye on what's going on in television. In addition to working on my upcoming research report on the convergence of social media and television (a.k.a. social TV), I've been asked quite a bit about Facebook's recent announcement. Warner Brothers and Facebook are teaming up to distribute films on Facebook's platform at $3 a pop. The deal aims to put Warner Brothers in front of a 500 million+ online audience of existing and potential customers. But do people want to watch movies on Facebook?

In my opinion, the answer to that question is not important at the moment. What marketers need to realize (if they haven't done so already) is that consumers are watching TV much differently. Very differently. Whether it's buying a Dwight bobble head while watching The Office with a click of a remote, voting who Jake should give the next rose to on The Bachelor or renting the Dark Knight on Facebook, consumers aren't just staring at the screen anymore. Marketers testing on emerging channels are taking advantage of new opportunities to reach their audience and being creative while doing it. 

If you're one of these marketers, I want to hear from you. Tweet me at @shaw_smith or email me at elshaw@forrester.com.

Note: For more on the details of the Warner Brothers/Facebook deal and to read some more of my thoughts, check out Bloomberg's coverage and my quote in Warner Starts Movie Service on Facebook, Pressuring Netflix.

Comments

Elizabeth, I think the answer

Elizabeth, I think the answer to your first question is important. So many times companies begin a journey of wasted time, not asking the question you asked: Will people actually watch movies on Facebook? The answer is, probably not. In the process, Facebook will waste time and money while diluting its brand.