Something is stirring in the landscape of broadcast television. And social media is at the root of the shift.
Did you know 80% of Smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while watching TV? And 51% of those who post on social media while watching TV do so to connect with others who might also be watching the same thing. They’re tweeting, commenting, and talking live as the events unfold during broadcast, a notable change in how we’re experiencing television series in the age of social networking. Gone are the days of “watercooler” TV talk. Now, chatter and spoilers are easily accessible through social media. The TV landscape is shifting from the watercooler to the Internet.
It looks like more and more networks are starting to integrate social media into their series to enhance the viewing experience of their audience, thereby creating more loyalty among their viewers. While most shows on television have a Facebook page and Twitter account for their fans to like and follow, some TV shows are taking social to a whole new level.
Take Bravo, for example. Aimed at a younger, female-driven audience, the network has engaged viewers by integrating social media in real-time, placing themselves light-years ahead of competing networks. Now, viewers can answer questions while watching the broadcast to vote on what is happening on screen. Ever had the desire to share your opinion on whose side you are on in a housewife fight? Now you can! Bravo’s Play Live! Site serves up real-time content, questions and polls around whatever show is airing on Bravo at any given time. As people vote or interact with content on the site, the tally is calculated and displayed on the television screen in real-time, during the show.
It will be interesting to see how social media plays in the ratings and popularity of a television show. Will networks catch on to the importance of social media and rely more on popularity on social networks than on Nielsen ratings? Many shows are cancelled because they don’t have enough viewers based on Nielsen ratings, but what if social media chatter could change the fate of your favorite shows at risk of cancellation?
Trendrr TV measures social media activity related to specific television shows (e.g. mentions, likes, check-ins) across Twitter, Fcaebook, GetGlue, and Viggle. Here’s a look at the top television on social media last weekend:
Interestingly enough, Spongebob Squarepants was the most talked about show on the air in 2012. Here’s the top 10 list:
As more and more television shows begin to integrate social media, it may seem inevitable that everything on TV will be in the social sphere soon. Have you become a superfan of your favorite shows by connecting with them online? Are there any shows you feel have dropped the ball in the social game, and you wished they’d expend a little more effort on it? How about TV shows that possibly shouldn’t go social? Does such a thing exist in our interconnected world?