Revolutionary Measures

Social media –the future of TV?

Despite the rise of the internet, social media and 101 other pastimes and hobbies apparently we’re all watching a lot more TV. That’s the findings of an ICM poll for TV Licensing, which found that Britons watched an average of 28 hours per week (so 4 hours per day) compared to 25 hours in 2005. And the industry believes we’re actually watching more than this – presumably our brains are so numbed by The X Factor that we can’t remember/add time up correctly.

But I’d question how much of this watching is actually focused on the programme in hand. I’m sure I’m not alone in spending a lot of my TV watching time online/flicking through magazines/having a conversation – TV for me isn’t the immersive experience it was 10 years ago. With the rise of hard disk recorders and online catch up services, a lot of this watching isn’t live either – why sit through adverts when you can start watching later and fast forward them to catch up?

Ironically, social media could well be the saviour of the TV industry – making us watch things live and focusing our attention on the programme itself. Lots of producers have now realised this – put the programme at the heart of a community and encourage everyone to interact/give their opinions/chat to mates through Twitter and Facebook and you create a live experience that builds loyalty and increases interest. Essentially it is the equivalent of having a studio audience of millions – all letting you know what they think in real time. Immensely powerful, but incredibly scary for TV execs (and stars) used to living in a bubble of sycophantic praise. But something that they need to get used to if they want to keep viewers and advertisers in the brave new world of integrated media. A case of egos out, community in.

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March 8, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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