As my blog seeks to shine light on the interesting background and messages of TV shows; it is therefore simple to see how Social Media has had an enormous impact on this topic with many new shows now having social media as their background and in some cases, their content too.
Why? Well, it makes absolute logical and financial sense; current statistics indicate that 55% of women and 45% of men all tweet while watching TV and that over 40% of TV watchers in America watch TV whilst using their devices1. It’s a huge amount of eyeballs and by creating a funnel between social media and their TV shows, they’ve allowed for more of that viewership to fall upon their shows.
As channel 7 CEO said; “Viewers are changing the way they watch TV and we’re changed the way we produce shows to cater for this. Social and interactive elements aren’t an afterthought anymore, we are integrating them into the making of our shows”.2 And they have, both in Australia and other nations.
So what shows are we talking about? Well while almost everything you see on TV now has it’s own socially-driven page to stir up discussion and gain audience opinion but few television shows have so wholly integrated themselves with the social media change than the new dating show “Ready for Love” on which 3 eligible bachelors are matched-up with a woman via social media. It’s a far-cry from the old dating shows of someone picking from 3 people behind a wall, having 2 people meet in a dark room, someone choosing from a pool of 25 possible partners, selecting a date based on the dinner they serve you (boy do i watch too much TV). But anyway besides from sending the message that love can be found through social media, “Ready for love” fully capitalizes on the fact that social media can provide a useful tool for conducting social interactions and objectives as well as having a large in-built audience that can transplanted onto the particular show which indicates a new trend of more shows building their foundation on such sites and basing their content around it.
Another show that is just as adept at using social media as it as good at crashing it, is Q & A. It’s an interesting case where the show doesn’t base its content on social media nor did it arise from social media, the show started in 2008 when both Facebook and Twitter were still quite young and the show’s concept was already rock-solid; who wouldn’t want to tune in to see politicians slipping up and hot topics being very controversially commented on. No, the show was impacted by social media through it’s ability to augment the show using it; giving people at home a voice to share their view, have it displayed on the screen during the show and starting a conversation with others and engaging in fiery open debate ; it’s democracy squared. Like Robert Hassan stated, if we wanted to write for ourselves we’d do it in a notebook and keep it locked in a desk but the vast majority want to write for others and write to have it read and make an impact, through social media we can and via more and more TV shows like this, we will.