Broadcasters still baffled by social TV

If eyeballs alone guaranteed commercial success, then social TV would be a booming market already, but converting all those people using Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites into business and revenue opportunities is proving elusive.

Indirect evidence for this came in the wake of Facebook’s flotation amid allegations that the lead underwriter for the deal, Morgan Stanley, had only told some clients that one of its analysts had cut revenue forecasts for Facebook, before the stock was available for purchase.

Broadcasters and production companies were already struggling to work out where the money would come from, as was pointed out at the recent Social TV World Summit in London by Olivier Gers, CEO of Endemol Worldwide Brands. Gers said that the industry had yet to determine how to extract value from Facebook in particular. Gers agreed that in terms of users, the social networking site was massive, and that for his agency, Endemol, it was a place it had to be. But, the challenge lay in how to engage with this huge audience.

It was not enough just to put TV on Facebook, at least from the point view of view of advertising, for brands needed to find a new way of telling their stories to suit that medium. The prize for cracking that problem could be almost as great as Facebook’s value itself.