Social TV needs “platform-agnostic approach”

The TV industry must aim for a platform-agnostic approach if social TV is to be fully exploited, according to panelists at the Social TV World Forum.

In London this morning, Steve Koenig (pictured) of the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said that companion screen activity is increasing but expressed concern that advertisers were not extracting value from it. CEA research shows that last year 13% of smartphone users in the US used the devices to watch TV, with the figure rising to 33% this year.

“People are shifting viewing to different devices. If we don’t aim for a platform-agnostic model for advertisers, we will lose. It’s a big challenge for us,” Koening said. “It has been rumoured for some time that Apple will make a play in the living room with a TV. You can count on it. It’s one way that hardware brands will create stickiness because consumers will want interoperability between devices. As much as you hope they will have ‘plug-and-play’ it has been a winner takes al dynamic so far.”

Andy Hood, executive creative development director at digital agency AKQA, said that the proliferation of the iOS and Android platforms was making things easier, but claimed that device manufactures were trying to tie consumers in to their products. “Once a manufacturer gets you to buy their products, it’s the holy grail for them. Look at Smart TVs…all the manufactures are doing something entirely different. They all want the things to work with their own platforms and it will not get any better ay time soon,” he said.