We’re finally entering into the much ballyhooed era where interactivity and media combine. Karen Woodward, our Los Angeles-based friendly neighborhood entertainment and social media expert, and Monique Elwell, Consumer Web Strategist, Speaker and Author, got together to write about the intersection of social media and entertainment and how we’re finally entering into the era where interactivity and media combine. What follows is the second in a series of posts regarding those changes and sprinkled in some predictions as well.
Social Media & Social TV
While a particular show is on, viewers are hopping onto social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, or GetGlue, to discuss TV shows while they’re watching them, and to dissect them afterward. A host of social TV applications have entered the space to take advantage of this: Viggle (which recently merged with Get Glue), Yap.TV, Shazam, and Zeebox are just a few who are offering second screen experiences for specific TV shows.
Media companies need to take better advantage of this trend. More TV shows are featuring a hashtag bug, which helps, especially when it’s timed correctly (a whole study could be done on American Idol’s hashtag timing) but there is more to be mined here. The USA Network is one of the few to become not only active in the space, but to promote that they’re active in the space. They should be applauded for jumping in with both feet.
Transmedia is a rather overused buzzword, but essentially, it’s the technique of using mediums (such as apps, websites, or video games) other than the “mother ship” (the TV show or movie) to tell stories related to the original content. Transmedia functions as an extension of the brand and often helps keep fans interested during a show’s summer hiatus or until a movie’s sequel is released.
When people are not watching the TV show or movie, they still want to be ‘in the magic’ (the phrase Walt Disney World’s employees when referring to their guests’ experience .) An excellent example of this is True Blood. HBO’s Facebook page for the series actuall
y incorporated the characters – Sookie, Bill, Eric, etc. Who knows whether they were official? It really didn’t matter, because it worked for the consumers. If it wasn’t official, it was a smart move on HBO’s part to leave them alone. Perhaps they learned from AMC, who allowed “regular people” to tweet as the Mad Men characters, instead of suing them for copyright infringement.
Just because a show is between airings does not mean that the viewers are done. They still want to engage with the story line, the characters, the mysteries, etc. And what better place to do that, but via social media?
Will we come full circle? Will we go back to the days of single-sponsored shows? Media companies are beginning to have success creating revenue streams from their sponsored shows, although it probably isn’t very much. The webseries “Easy to Assemble” is sponsored by IKEA and is about IKEA workers. It stars actress Illeanna Douglass, so it probably isn’t cheap to produce. But we wouldn’t be surprised if TV shows reverted back to the single-sponsorship model of the 1950s. In a way, it’s already happening – for example when you watch TV shows on Hulu, there is usually only one or two sponsors.
Now that mobile devices are everywhere we will likely see a proliferation of tablets, phones and other mobile devices that allow for augmented reality everywhere. Information, including an extended entertainment experience, will be attached to just about everything. Okay, we have that experience now, but it will be finally accessible. So when you just finish watching True Blood and you want the recipe for the True Blood martini, it will be easily reachable on your iPad.
Or perhaps you need inspiration for a meal? Your fridge or a tablet connected to it will be able to tell you what Iron Chef recipes will work based on what’s been put in and removed from your fridge. Bar code scanners and recognition software along with cameras will make this a no-brainer.
What trends are you seeing?
(Our first post can be found here)