Trend Watch: Celebrity Swatting

In Los Angeles, a practice known as swatting has become an alarming trend — a series of hoax 911 calls claiming serious incidents at the homes of celebrities. A string of them happened just this week, prompting police SWAT teams to respond in force.

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Earlier this year, a 12-year-old boy was charged with making false threats about supposed incidents at the homes of Justin Bieber and actor Ashton Kutcher. Other swatting targets over the last year include "The X Factor" judge Simon Cowell, singer Miley Cyrus and the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Trend Watch: How Chatter Matters in TV Viewing

A new study from cable in­dustry as­so­ci­ation CTAM – and con­duc­ted by Nielsen – looks at how we talk about tele­vi­sion, what we talk about, when and with whom this chat­ter takes place, and how this dia­logue in­flu­ences TV en­gage­ment and tune-in be­ha­vi­or.

Infographic: Chatter Matters When Watching TV

Trend Watch: How Millennial 'Cord Nevers' Are Disrupting TV

image from www.debaird.netLast week the Miami Herald ran a really interesting story on the impact that the shift of viewing habits from the TV to the web is having on both the broadcast and cable TV ecosystems. This new trend is being fueled by Millennials

The article sites a report from TDG Research, 'A Primary Profile of Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers', that found today, 87% of broadband households currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, a decline of almost five percentage points since 2010 but nonetheless a very strong indicator of the grip that pay-TV has an US households.

That being said, a growing number of broadband subscribers are now doing without pay-TV services altogether, having either “cut the cord” or never signed up to begin with in the first place.

Who are these 'Cord Nevers?" According to Jim Flynn, president of Massachusetts-based Overlook TV:

'They’re in their early 20s, just out of college, and for them, paying $100 or $200 a month for cable TV is just not an option. And they don’t feel bad about it. They’re part of this millennial generation who are perfectly happy getting all their video over the Internet.'

But then, other experts say this 'Millennial 'Cord Nevers' are destroying the TV and Cable TV business' conversation is a bunch of nonsense. What do you think?

Speaking of the Internet, Millennials and TV, here are some stats:

Internet & TV

  • In the US, the rise of the internet as a frequent source of entertainment is most dramatic in the 18-34 group, rising from 27 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2010.
  • In the US, 32 percent of 18-54 year olds look most frequently to the web for entertainment (compared with 58 percent watching TV). 
  • The internet also ranked second in the UK, with 30 percent turning to the web most frequently, compared with 57 percent watching TV.

Freedom of Content

  • In the 2008 study, free content was the dominant issue.  This year’s study shows it is the ability to access content across devices, not cost, that is of significance to consumers.
  • 65 percent of US respondents think it is important that they are able to access their entertainment on a number of different devices.
  • 59 percent of UK respondents think it is important that they are able to access their entertainment on a number of different devices.
  • 58 percent (US) and 53 percent (UK) of consumers state they would be willing to pay for content if they were able to move it across devices.

Infographic: Trendrr 2012 Social TV Stats

A year-end review from Trendrrreveals that sports (31%) and reality (17%) are the primary genres generating social TV buzz, combining to account for about half of social TV conversations between January 1 and November 30 2012.

Drama (11%) and comedy (5%) also played a role in the social TV landscape, with the remaining 36% of conversations taking place around the aggregate of other, miscellaneous TV genres.

Source: The Trendrr Blog | Click Image to view LARGE

Trend Watch: Social Profile Pruning

Profile “pruning” is on the rise. Deleting unwanted friends, comments and photo tags grows in popularity.

Over time, as social networking sites have become a mainstream communications channel in everyday life, profile owners have become more active managers of their profiles and the content that is posted by others in their networks.

According to a new Pew Internet study, two-thirds of profile owners (63%) have deleted people from their networks or friend lists, up from 56% in 2009. Another 44% say they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, up from just 36% two years prior.

And as photo tagging has become more automated on sites like Facebook, users have become more likely to remove their names from photos that were tagged to identify them; 37% of profile owners have done this, up from 30% in 2009.

Social profile managment

Deleting social media comments is part of the reputation management work of being a young adult.

All users have become more likely to delete comments on their profiles over time, but this is especially true of young adults.

It is now the case that 56% of social media users ages 18-29 say they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, compared with 40% of those ages 30-49, 34% of those ages 50-64 and 26% of social media users ages 65 and older.

In contrast to the gender differences with unfriending, male and female social media users are equally as likely to say that they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile (44% of men and women report this).

The task of removing photo tags is also much more common among young adults.

Whether because there are simply more photos being shared or there is more sensitivity to their content, young adult social media users are the most likely age group to report removal of photo tags.

Fully half of young adult social media users (49%) say they have deleted their name from photos that were tagged to identify them.

That compares to 36% of social media users ages 30-49, 22% of those ages 50-64 and only 16% of those ages 65 and older. As with comments, there are no significant gender differences; male and female users are equally likely to delete photo tags (36% vs. 38%).


Trend Watch: Welcome to Social Entertainment


image from

Three trends are having a key impact in how consumers are using the internet: the rise of the 'packaged internet', with access through apps rather than browsers; an explosion of professional content and real-time social all contributing to what GlobalWebIndex founder Tom Smith sees as the rise of the social entertainment age.

 According to Smith, 'The open browser-based internet has failed to create the economics to deliver professional media business online, as advertising could not demand the premiums needed and consumers are unwilling to pay for content delivered through a browser.'

GlobalWebIndex's free report analyses the current situation and considers the implications for professional media, content producers and brands.

Real-time social

The report identifies that a shift is currently taking place from blogs and forums to real-time sharing such as status updates and tweets, with 10% of internet users around the world updating their status daily. 'This radically changes the impact of social media, primarily creating an ongoing shared agenda and conversation towards reacting or interacting with live events and discourse.'
The rise of the packaged-internet

Mobile apps, tablets, e-readers, internet-connected TVs and gaming / video platforms are all contributing to the deterioration of the internet as a single entity. Mobile, in particular, has contributed to social entertainment, with over 17% of people surveyed having watched TV in the last month via their mobile, and 26% had watched an on-demand video via mobile phone.

Professional content explosion

The fastest growing motivations for using the internet identified by the survey were 'finding TV / films', 'finding music' and 'entertainment'. The survey also found that the prime motivation for 16-24 year olds to engage with brands is to entertain them (66%). GlobalWebIndex interprets this as a 'clear indication of the need for brands to adopt the position of content creator'. (via)

Trend Watch: Teens Leaving Facebook for Twitter. Here's Why.

Teens don't tweet, will never tweet - too public, too many older users. Not cool.

That's been the prediction for a while now, born of numbers showing that fewer than one in 10 teens were using Twitter early on.

But then their parents, grandparents, neighbors, parents' friends and anyone in-between started friending them on Facebook, the social networking site of choice for many – and a curious thing began to happen.

image from

Suddenly, their space wasn't just theirs anymore. So more young people have started shifting to Twitter, almost hiding in plain sight.

"I love twitter, it's the only thing I have to myself ... cause my parents don't have one," Britteny Praznik, a 17-year-old who lives outside Milwaukee, gleefully tweeted recently.

"Facebook is like shouting into a crowd. Twitter is like speaking into a room."

While she still has a Facebook account, she joined Twitter last summer, after more people at her high school did the same. "It just sort of caught on," she says.

Teens tout the ease of use and the ability to send the equivalent of a text message to a circle of friends, often a smaller one than they have on crowded Facebook accounts.

They can have multiple accounts and don't have to use their real names. They also can follow their favorite celebrities and, for those interested in doing so, use Twitter as a soapbox.

Read more on HuffPost Parents

Trend Watch: Twitter, Facebook and Social TV

image from rww.readwriteweb.netdna-cdn.comTwitter Embraces Its Social Role in TV: Like so many other things that the Twitter community has established on its own (hashtags and retweets, for example), the company is now fully embracing the role it plays in supplementing the TV-watching experience of millions of people. [RRW]

Social Media and TV - Who's Talking, When and What About? : Social media continues to influence how consumers interact with brands and share content every day. Increasingly, TV viewers leverage social media as a platform to talk about and engage with TV content.

These conversations are not only opening new channels for consumer engagement with their favorite TV shows and fellow fans alike, but also are providing insight into which viewers are driving the conversations and when. [Nielson Wire]

Yahoo's IntoNow Provides Signs of Life for The Premier Digital Media Company: Yahoo! is known for acquiring startups and letting them languish. But IntoNow cranked out a whole new product--and a possible game-changer for the TV industry--in six months. Is this the beginning of something new? [Fast Company] Get the free IntoNow App on iTunes

MTV Exec: Social is a New Programming Platform: Many people are talking about how TV networks can leverage the power of social networks to help build their show audiences. But they may be missing the point. According to Dermot McCormack, EVP of Digital Media for MTV, social networks aren’t just for announcing when the next episode of Jersey Shore airs, but a whole new platform for media creation and distribution. [GigOM]

TV Isn't What it Used to Be: According to a recent Ypulse report, only 28% of students say they can’t live without TV (referring to traditional viewing), compared to 83% who can’t imagine life without music. Some students even prefer streaming video to traditional TV viewing; after all, it gives them what they want when they want it. What’s a TV company to do? [MediaPost]

In the U.S., Tablets are TV Buddies: The Nielsen Company​’s most recent research on mobile connected devices sheds new light on how consumers are using their tablets, eReaders and smartphones – and where they are using them, too. [Nielson Wire]

Multask Mania | Viewers Watch TV, Discuss on Social Sites: Almost 40% of TV viewers are discussing TV shows on social media sites, with almost three-quarters of TV viewers with broadband access, generally using the Internet at same time, per U.K.-based Ovum, a business/technology research firm. [MediaPost]

What's the Future of Social TV Look Like?: Real-time entertainment is what people are looking for–we always want something fresh to keep us up to date.  But with this demand for real-time entertainment, how has it affected traditional TV? [Silicon Angle]

The Future of TV, From Apple to ZeeBox: “The future of TV” has become a buzzword over the last few years – but what if it was time to stop talking about it and acknowledge that the future has already arrived? [TNW]

Barking Robot > Category > Social TV

Trend Watch: Why Parents Help Children Lie to Facebook About Age

image from www.debaird.netFacebook, like many communication services and social media sites, uses its Terms of Service (ToS) to forbid children under the age of 13 from creating an account.

Such prohibitions are not uncommon in response to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which seeks to empower parents by requiring commercial Web site operators to obtain parental consent before collecting data from children under 13.

Given economic costs, social concerns,and technical issues, most general–purpose sites opt to restrict underage access through their ToS. Yet in spite of such restrictions, research suggests that millions of underage users circumvent this rule and sign up for accounts on Facebook.

Given strong evidence of parental concern about children’s online activity, this raises questions of whether or not parents understand ToS restrictions for children, how they view children’s practices of circumventing age restrictions, and how they feel about children’s access being regulated.

This paper provides survey data that show that many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and that they are often complicit in helping their children join the site.

The data suggest that, by creating a context in which companies choose to restrict access to children, COPPA inadvertently undermines parents’ ability to make choices and protect their children’s data. Our data have significant implications for policy–makers, particularly in light of ongoing discussions surrounding COPPA and other age–based privacy.

A few  takeaways:

  • “As a result of COPPA, lying about one’s age has become normal, and parents often help children lie, [which] creates safety and privacy issues.”
  • “Online safety and privacy are of great concern to parents, but most parents do not want solutions that result in age-based restrictions for their children.”
  • “Parents are open to recommended age ratings and other approaches that offer guidance without limiting their children’s access.”
  • 84% were aware their children signed up and, of that 84%, nearly two-thirds (64%) even “helped create the account.
  • 53% of the parents know Facebook has a minimum age; 35% think it’s “a recommendation, not a requirement”
  • 78% reported various reasons that make it acceptable for their children to ignore or violate minimum age restrictions online.”
  • Because children lie about their age, these sites still collect data about children under 13 that COPPA would otherwise prohibit without explicit parental consent.”
  • “Such a high incidence of parent-supported Terms of Service circumvention results in a normalization of the practice of violating online rules. This results in a worst-case scenario where none of COPPA’s public policy goals for mediating children’s interactions with these websites are met.”
  • “Instead of providing more tools to help parents and their children make informed choices, industry responses to COPPA have neglected parental preferences and have altogether restricted what is available for children to access.”

Why Parents Help Children Lie to Facebook about age: Unintended consequences of COPPA

Is YouTube the New Cable TV?

image from www.debaird.netA little over a year ago Google, with much fanfare, launched Google TV. Unfortunately, things didn't quite pan out as well as Google or its partners (Sony, Logitech and Intel) had hoped.

Even an infusion of pop culture icon Kevin Bacon couldn't rescue Google TV.

However, big changes are underway at the Googleplex that Google hopes will change the fortunes of of the struggling service.

Google TV, Take Two

According to an article in Business Insider, the first big change to the service is that "Google TV will present all content in one interface regardless of source -- when you look for comedy shows or movies, for instance, you get your cable shows, Netflix rentals, and (critically) YouTube videos all arranged next to one another." 

This move is part of Google’s plans to transform YouTube into more of a “leanback” experience, make TV more social and challenge the dominance of traditional broadcast and cable television providers.

YouTube, The New Cable TV

In addition, Google announced that YouTube would partner with dozens of content creators to bring quality original programming to the platform. 

Demonstrating the wide range of channels that will be rolling out over the next several months, the well-known names participating as creators include Madonna, Jay-Z, Amy Poehler, Rainn Wilson, Shaquille O’Neal, Sofia Vergara, Tony Hawk and Ashton Kutcher.

To aid YouTube viewers with discovery, the channels will be grouped into topic categories such as pop culture, sports, music, health and fitness, animals, and domestic design, as well as categories organized by demographics like age range and ethnic identity.

That's my two cents. So what do you think? Is this new and improved YouTube content experience a threat to cable TV?

Trend Watch: YouTube Beats out Facebook as Top Youth Social Media Brand

image from www.prdaily.comA new Harris poll says that YouTube is the top social media brand among America's youth.

The video site beat Facebook as Social Media Brand of the Year in the 13- to 24-year-old age range, according to the 2012 Harris Poll Youth EquiTrend study.

In terms of YouTube’s popularity, other studies have shown that more than 2 billion videos are played every day on the vide-sharing site and that YouTube mobile receives more than 100 million views daily.

The study sought to benchmark the brands that America’s youth prefers by evaluating familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration. More than 5,000 Americans, ages eight to 24, took part in the study. [Via PR Daily]

Related: YouTube Pictures Teachers and Students Using More Video in the Classroom

Trend Watch: To This Baby, a Magazine is a Broken iPad [VIDEO]

There has been a lot of debate about the existence of digital natives. Yes, it's a somewhat cringe worthy term, but there's no doubt that technology has an incredible impact on children. Take for example this video of a baby using an iPad. It's pretty amazing.

"Submitted for your approval, a child introduced to the iPad at a young age, exposed to its various delights of  light and sound, unable to comprehend a magazine. The video shows that this 1-year-old baby, after being introduced to an iPad, has become trained by its (admittedly elegant) user interface to repeatedly try and use a glossy magazine the same way.

Needless to say, it doesn’t work.

Of course, on one level this is cute, but on another, it could speak to the incredibly powerful way the technological innovations of the past 15 years or so will affect the next generation of human beings.

We have generally thought of technology as being something hard to grasp and hard to teach, but this video seems to illustrate that that has fundamentally changed. Forever." (via)


Related: Why the “A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work” Video Is Ridiculous (

Trend Watch: When Television Meets Tablet Computers [VIDEO]

image from What will happen when television meets tablet computers?

SuomiTV and Nordkapp have explored the future of television and created a concept to illustrate the direction where we expect TV watching to evolve in the near future.

Pretty cool stuff.


(Sorta) Related: Facebook Now Outranks Television in the UK [Infographic]

Trend Watch (1954 Edition): How to Dial Your Telephone

Social-media-sofa Tweet. Poke. Stumble. Digg. Like. +1. Text.

Seems like our current wave of digital, mobile and social technologies have always been a part of our lives. But, as this video points out, it wasn't that long ago that the lowly telephone (the one with the cord!) was the latest in cutting edge consumer technology.

I wonder if someday we will look back with the same quaint nostalgia at the iPad, Skype or even the lowly (the one without a cord) phone?


That's my two cents, what's yours?