Social TV: Understanding What Consumers Want

Eric Holtzclaw SoCon 12

Eric Holtzclaw, CEO of User Insight

For an increasing number of people, watching TV is no longer a passive, solitary thing. Even if you’re sitting alone on your couch, you can easily make watching your favorite shows a social experience. From Twitter hashtags to Facebook’s frictionless sharing of what you’re watching on Netflix and apps to complement your viewing enjoyment, social TV is no longer the future. It is here.

Maybe you’re not sure what social TV is exactly, or you want to know what needs to be considered when consulting brands about converging experiences on the computer, TV, tablet and mobile device screens. If so, Eric Holtzclaw is a great man to talk to. He is the CEO of User Insight and, for the past year, he has led a research team focused on understanding behaviors exhibited in user’s homes and how the social TV revolution stands to change how people watch, interact and consume TV content.

He will be presenting a session at SoCo12 called “The Future is Now: Social TV and What Consumers Want.”

Some topics he will cover include:

  • The social TV landscape and key players in the space.
  • How social concepts are coming together into marketable technologies.
  • What consumers want to see from the world of social TV, according to findings from User Insight’s year-long qualitative research initiative.
  • What this convergence means for advertising, communications, marketing, product and technology professionals.
  • Resources available to stay current.

We asked Eric some questions about himself and social and digital media.

Tell us the history of your relationship with the Center for Sustainable Journalism and/or SoCon.

I’ve attended SoCon conferences in the past and I’m active in the social media community in town. I know many others who are active SoCon attendees and presenters.

In what capacity do you use social media? How has it changed the way you do your job?

Social media is a key mode of communication for me; I’m very active on social media and it’s changed the way I connect with others locally and elsewhere. I have met several key business contacts via social media including my part-time CFO and other key User Insight consultants. I also use Twitter to connect with others who attend the conferences I’m attending; it’s a great way to connect with others that share my interests in business, food, travel, you name it!

What is the most influential event/shift in digital media in the past year?

Over the past year, I think that we’ve really seen an explosion of “disruptive technologies” emerge in the digital media space such that consumers can now have access to content in “bite-sized” chunks via mobile and tablet apps. Whether you want to buy just one song, one game, an article or an episode, you can now do it and create fully customizable reading, game, TV, music lists and more.

What is the future of social media in the next year?

Social media isn’t a novelty anymore – most aren’t doing it just to do it anymore. I think that people are beginning to and will continue to use social media in more intentional ways. I also think that applications will continue to improve, making it easier and easier for users to engage and check-in with little effort or forethought.

How can Atlanta position itself to be a hub for technological innovation in the future?

In order for Atlanta to be a hub for technological innovation, I believe that we must build a strong foundation of entrepreneurs who, as they become successful, will be willing to reach down and coach and support the newest entrepreneurs, start-ups and ventures.

What makes your session unique? Why should people attend your session?

My session will serve as a primer on Social TV – what it is, why it’s important, how it’s developing into saleable products, and the current competitive landscape. In addition, I will share the findings from our yearlong social TV research study, giving attendees an in-depth look at what consumers really want from this emerging space.

Attendees will walk away from the session able to identify key considerations when consulting brands and working with stakeholders about four screen convergence initiatives.

Tell us one fact or idea that you want SoCon folks to know.

One nugget of “food for thought”:

We all know that the world has changed. We’ve moved from a one to the masses to a many-to-many society. In the old broadcast days, the big challenge for companies was convincing “the masses” to purchase their products. However, in today’s many-to-many world, the big challenge for companies is to reach the fragmented audience out there. The only way to do this is to better understand who your customers are and what makes them tick.

These days, it’s not as much about selling one thing to all but about understanding who’s buying and tailoring the product, experience and messaging to them so that they can’t stop themselves from buying.


Friday – February 3, 2012

Brews & News - Friday night mixer and fundraiserWhat: Brews and News – Networking Mixer
Where: Sweetwater Brewing Company
Join SoCon12 attendees and industry professionals for a night of great networking and good spirits. The first ever “Brews and News” event is a joint SoCon12 mixer and the first ever fundraiser for the, our niche journalism project covering the oft overlooked topic of juvenile justice. Sip house ale, bid in the silent auction and grow your social network by leaps and bounds.


Saturday – February 4, 2011

SoCon12What: SoCon12 Un-Conference
Where: Kennesaw State University
Join digital professionals for a full-day of networking, food and break-out sessions. Choose from more than 20 sessions on a variety of topics. Don’t miss keynote speaker Steve Rubel, EVP/Global Strategy and Insights with Edelman. Around for more than half a century, Edelman has become one of the world’s leading independent global PR firms.



Register now.



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