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Top 5 Media and Entertainment Trends for 2013: No. 3: Social Curation

Are social channels with media and entertainment content disrupting audiences away from media owned branded web sites? This was one of the main topics of conversation at Acquia’s recent Media Entertainment and Publishing-Focused Digital Disruption event in New York City.

It’s a difficult question to answer, but with the trend of social content curation rising this year, media companies have found ways to integrate social channels into their own branded experiences. Media and entertainment companies use technology to aggregate the best content about their brands from social channels and display it on their sites, often dubbed “fan walls”. Fox Television calls them “social hubs”.

Fox Television’s Glee show features a “Social Hub” powered by RebelMouse


Chris Pfaff, Chairman of the New Media Council of the Producer’s Guild of America and our moderator for the Digital Disruption panel discussion, asked Pete Jeliffe, Senior Web Product Manager at Warner Music Group about the methods the record company uses to harness social channels on to their artist sites.

Pete said he can now easily integrate technologies like IFTTT and RebelMouse into his Drupal powered artists sites, thereby enabling display of social content – either from the artists’ own Twitter or Facebook pages, or from fans who are hash tagging their user generated content with the artist’s name. Beyond simply displaying social media, the word “curation” is key. For instance on a fan wall, you would want to display the most popular fan Instagram photos versus simply posting a feed of random tweets about your content brand. Usually a community manager is needed pull in the best content from social channels, though some of the tools have automated ways to moderate content and surface the best social posts.

The market for social curation platforms is very hot now with a myriad of providers. The commenting platform Livefyre recently bought Storify for an undisclosed sum. Storify is a tool that allows publishers to create an embeddable feed of curated social content around a single news topic. The Weather Channel leverages Storify to aggregate social posts on severe storms.

San Francisco-based Tintup claims 20,000 brands are using its social curation platform including sports leagues NBA, NFL, and WBNA.

Sixers’ team site uses Drupal, and features a “social hub” powered by Tintup.


Mass Relevance is a social curation platform that is leading the media and entertainment industry in terms of sheer number of customers. Its solution is especially geared towards pulling content social together during live events including ABC’s 2013 Oscars, Pac 12 Finals, and CNN’s Election Insights. You can see a gallery of their customers here on their site built on Drupal.

There’s even Chute, which aims to allow brands to create advertisements based on content curated from consumer’s own social media.

During the Digital Disruption panel, Pete Jeliffe reminded us that curating social content back on to your brand owned site is useful, but only if you’ve built an audience there. Social media channels remain a vital way for content brands, like emerging bands, to be discovered by audiences who frequent them.

Warner Music Group continues to test to see what drives audiences from social channels back to artist sites. Driving audiences from social channel to branded experiences continues to be a topic of conversation in the media and entertainment industry. In my next post we will share more thoughts and video from the Digital Disruption panel describing methods the industry are using to retain their audiences on their branded digital experiences.

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