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Twitter media head: ‘Asian broadcasters are making social too hard’

L:R Lee, Keens, Laor, Kearley

L:R Lee, Keens, Laor, Kearley

Danny Keens, head of media at Twitter Australia, has told a forum that in his view Asian broadcasters were making it too complicated for their audiences by offering a plethora of social networks on which to have an online conversation.

Speaking today at Broadcast Asia at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, in Singapore, Keens said in his experience Asia TV networks were spreading the social conversation too thin.

“You have to keep it simple when you talk about social and TV,” said Keens. If I step out of my Twitter hat for a second, I have watched TV shows where they say go to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, blah blah — all these social networks.

“You are making it too hard for the audience.”Keens, while acknowledging that he was biased towards Twitter, said that broadcasters would be wise to choose a place to have the online discussion.

“Everyone is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google etc they are all there, although some more than others, but what they are asking is where is the conversation? Where are my friends going? Where is the conversation taking place,” he said.

“If I speak from my role at Twitter. It is a decision you have to make a decision as a business but you have to keep it simple, choose one social media network — work out where you want that social conversation to be.

“It doesn’t have to be the largest social network or the network with the most users. It should be the network with the best content, the engaging content and that’s a decision you make when driving people to that network and harnessing the power of the conversation.”

Keens was speaking on a panel that also included CEO of social applications provider Applicaster Jonathan Laor who took issue with his argument.

Laor argued broadcast apps could be built that harnessed the conversation from online streams such as Twitter’s API but which brought the content into an online environment that would be owned by the broadcaster.

“As a broadcaster I would not be referring people to the social network at all,” said Laor. “I would be referring people to the one social network app that is the broadcaster’s property.”

“Those apps can integrate seemlessly. Many of them can bring together Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc that way you are bring the user to one place instead of a referring them to a hundred different sites.”

Also on the panel was LC Lee founder and chairman of RelayTV and Eric Kearley Head of IPTV and PayTV at Australian telecommunications company Telstra.

“I think we are all saying the same thing: how do you make it easy? How do you do it in a single click?”, said Lee.

Speaking to Mumbrella Asia after the event, Keens elaborated on his remarks explaining that he was particularly worried about the issue among Asia broadcasters.

“(It is a problem) mainly in Asia. The Australian broadcasters get that Twitter is where the conversation takes place but in less mature social TV markets there is a lot if confusion,” said Keens.

They know they need to play in the space but there competition is a lot tougher in emerging markets where there are several more social players.”

Nic Christensen

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