Television in the Age of Social Media (part 3)
Posted by Gillian Wasser
Is social media impacting the television industry?
The answer is YES. According to this article, due to the progressive growth of social media over the past couple of years, you are no longer restricted to watching television with just the people in your living room.
How has social media affected the television industry?
Overall social media has benefited the television industry. In an age of PVR’s and illegal video streaming, social media has begun to help those working in the industry communicate with viewers. Social media allows them to engage with viewers, promote new shows, as well as better measure how successful a show is (as well as understand how to improve a show). Just like it has changed the public relations and marketing industries, social media has fostered two-way communication.
Threats & Opportunities
As with the introduction of all new technologies, there are both opportunities and threats that social media brings to the television industry. One opportunity is that social media has started to turn television into an interactive form of entertainment. I explained in my first post that TV shows have increasingly created Twitter accounts for TV characters. In this way, viewers are becoming more active by engaging with these characters. Although, as mentioned in my last post, since not everyone uses social media, TV still remains mainly a passive form of entertainment.
One threat to the television industry is that social media can result in bad publicity for shows. Just like it can drive tune-in, it can also prevent it. For example, if someone writes a negative review for a show and publishes it using social media, it may deter viewers from tuning in and judging the show for themselves. According to Brian Solis, social media has spawned a new genre of critics.
In the age of social media, viewers have become participants in real-time experiences. And many, are also becoming critics simply what they say and share online. Social network activity certainly influences behaviour, but to what extent requires greater study.
The public aspect of social media can be seen as both a threat and an opportunity. On one hand, social media creates the opportunity for the TV industry in that it allows people to easily share and discover new shows from almost anyone online. On the other hand, since social media is such a public space, some may be embarrassed to broadcast what they are watching. For example, a straight guy may not want to share that he enjoys watching America’s Next Top Model in fear of people thinking he is gay. In this way, social media cannot accurately measure the success of a show due to the public and voluntary nature of the platform.
While there is no question that social media has impacted the television industry, it is still unknown how much it impacts it. It will be very interesting to see how it will further change in the coming years. Thanks for reading!Sources Used: http://www.brandingpersonality.com/social-media-has-changed-the-way-we-watch-television/