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These days privately enjoying one’s favourite television series or movie is not enough for many viewers. Audiences want to know what others are thinking about the latest character death or plot twist; to interact with fellow fans and share the excitement, sadness, laughter – whatever emotion the show is stirring within them.
“Television has always been a powerful conversation starter whether that’s in the living room with friends and family, at the water cooler with colleagues at work.” says Tony Broderick, Head of TV at Twitter.
And nowadays, it is done on an even larger scale – with world-wide online communities; engaging with thousands of fellow fans, via ‘hash-tagged’ conversations and video sharing.
Exploiting the relationship between social media and television, has proven to be very effective in television marketing. In 2011, the initial broadcast of Comedy Central’s roast of Donald Trump, prompted over 27,000 uses of the twitter hashtag #TrumpRoast and led to the show’s most-watched Tuesday in history.
Five years on and creative hashtags are old news, with many more social media innovations both in use and on the horizon.
“The social experience around TV has evolved so much in the last 5-10 years and will continue to evolve as new technology emerges”, says Broderick.
This means that there are – and will continue to be – new and effective ways of exploiting social media to intensify interest in a particular show or movie.
“We’ve seen producers and networks experiment in a variety of ways, such as giving fans behind-the-scenes access, extending the narrative and allowing fans to unlock/discover rewards via social media. With new Twitter features such as Periscope, Moments and Polls the possibilities are endless”, says Broderick.
“Australia has always been at the leading edge of Twitter integration with TV shows and we see it widely adopted across all genres and networks. We’re still in the early days of experimentation around OTT TV but an early trend has been an explosion of conversation when a new series of a show launches (such as House of Cards or Daredevil) as well as social being a vital way for how viewers discover shows that are under the radar (such as Making a Murderer or Wolf Creek).”
Hear more from Twitter about innovations in Social TV at the forthcoming OTT TV Summit.