Insights 12 – what needs to be on your digital agenda in 2012? Nine of 10 – Social TV

Long gone are the days that tv or radio shows were simply for consumption. Calls to text, email or write to us have been full of in-broadcast calls to actions for several years and this doesn’t just stop at TV. Radio, has been a great exponent of the interactive broadcast.

At the other end of the scale, we have audiences populating social media channels talking about what it is that they just watched, or, in the case of the Apprentice – giving the “characters” a real bashing on Twitter as they play out on our screens.

And, floating around somewhere beyond social media TV we have transmedia storytelling – a multi-screen or multi-platform way to tell and interact with the same television story – extending the programme’s reach and almost turning consumption almost into experiential.

In 2009, we saw Obama’s inauguration all being streamed live through Facebook, in 2010 The Jonas Brothers broadcast interactive, live streaming gigs and interviews through Facebook and last year, the Black Eyed Peas broadcast a Google Plus Hangout via a laptop at the back of their stage. So we are already some way on with social tv, but not in any consistent way which audiences are now expecting.

I think his year we will see much more of events like Channel 4’s How to save £100bn event – where tweets and comments from external networks were filtered in, in real-time to the show presenter and became the topic for debate. The content also provided additional visual stimulus which again, formed the basis for discussion in the show.

Also expect to see more play-along activity, such as that already being run with The Million Pound Drop. Viewers can play along with the questions on tv, on their computers, interact with a live-show twitter account, appear on the show themselves and can follow the stories of the contestants and behind-the-scenes material is broadcast through Facebook to maintain dialogue between shows.

And, with Celebrity Big Brother experimenting allowing viewers to pay for votes with Facebook Credits, we are going to see a much more interactive television experience in 2012.

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