On Wednesday, May 9 in New York City, Ad Age is hosting the inaugural Social Engagement/Social TV (SE/STV) Conference. The partial-day event will bring together the best minds from the media, social-analytics, brand and agency worlds. To preview the conference, all this week we're offering brief thoughts from key SE/STV speakers and panelists on the evolution of social engagement.
First up: Chris Stephenson, president of Viggle, the "loyalty program for TV." In January, Ad Age covered Viggle in-depth pre-launch and at launch (Verizon, Pepsi, Gatorade, Capital One and Burger King were among the sponsors from Day 1). By mid-March, the company announced it had hit its first big milestone: 250,000 registered users for its iPhone app (and more than 7 million check-ins).
Mr. Stephenson will participate in a SE/STV panel titled "From Social TV to Better TV: Will The 'Second Screen' Deliver for Networks, Brands and Users?" on May 9 with Lisa Hsia, exec VP for digital media at Bravo; Aaron Lilly, senior marcom architect at Microsoft / Bing; and moderator Mark Ghuneim, CEO/founder of Wiredset and Trendrr.
When it comes to the "social TV" movement, Mr. Stephenson tells Ad Age , "What really matters right now is that brands, networks, producers and technology companies come together to drive scale and focus in the second-screen space." Even though the social-TV phenomenon is in its infancy, he says, it's already convoluted and often confusing for consumers. "Without the power of synergy, the second screen becomes a fragmented series of one-off apps. With synergy, partnership and focus, it becomes a powerful platform to drive real user engagement, richer experience and most importantly provides a significant new revenue platform for all."