By July 25, 2013

TV Faster Than the Speed of Reality

television apparatus from 1950 Our living rooms are filled with more screens these days. Smartphones tell TV viewers more about their favorite characters as they watch. You can play "Words with Friends" while you’re waiting for the commercials to end. And laptops allow people to multitask on homework during halftime.

Meanwhile, marketers are trying to reach consumers on second, third and fourth screens. Let’s pull back the curtain to show the tactics being used in order to maximize the budding romance between advanced smart TV technology and the ever-present Internet.

Faster is Better

We demand high-speed Internet, uninterrupted TV signals, and Wi-Fi on our phones wherever we go. Why should our views of TV be any different? Now, TV programmers are shifting their focus to fully integrate with users on multiple devices. So far, Twitter is the platform of choice.

Many TV shows allow viewers to give instant feedback or ask questions through the social channel while a show is broadcast. TV programmers put hashtags on screen and use them as immediate sounding boards for their shows. TV show hosts often respond back to viewers’ questions in real time, empowering those at home to feel like they are a part of the show.

Networks have also introduced connected TV apps. Bravo’s "Bravo Now" app allows viewers to answer in-program poll questions during the show “Watch What Happens Live.” The answers are displayed on the show in real-time.

Is Reality Finally Real?

TV programmers are driving viewer engagement by allowing faithful followers to have a direct impact on a show’s outcome. For example, the “Miss USA” pageant lets fans vote for their favorite contestant online. The contestant who received the most votes automatically makes it past the first cut during the live telecast.

This is not only gets viewers interested in the live pageant before its television debut, but it is also a way to ensure direct participation from a wide group of individuals. Plus, the higher the interest level from viewers, the more the pageant can charge for advertising and sponsorships. Reality shows such as “Survivor” also are using social media as a way to encourage fans to vote for contestants they feel should win prizes or special awards.

Let the Games Begin

Smart TVs and second screens have created another trend – gamification. For the 2012 show, "The Great Escape," TNT created an app that allowed viewers to take their own journeys alongside the show’s contestants. The app rewarded the player for watching the show, and used game mechanics to keep interest high.

Other shows jumping on the bandwagon, too, to fuel fan loyalty and amplify viewer numbers. As the programs shift in this direction, programming providers are doing so, as well, notes http://www.Direct4TV.com.

What Does the Data Show?

TV show apps can provide content creators and advertisers with rich data and targeted consumers. Not only can advertisers better target their ads, TV writers and producers can even better tailor their content and interactive elements based on second screen user demographics of their most invested viewers.

And while networks are expanding their reach, websites are creating content to enhance the TV screen, too. TV networks and program providers are embedding videos directly on their Web pages to increase SEO and enhance the probability for more social likes. By showing segments of popular TV shows or creating new content, the TV and the Internet continue to intersect.

Whether it’s through real-time interaction by way of Twitter during a live telecast, or through audience participation in a specially designed gamified app, the strong ties between TV and the Internet are undeniable.

Posted in: Editorial

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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