Twitter encourages live TV viewing

On the back of all commentary about “the internet killing mainstream media …” 

.. consider how Twitter encourages live TV viewing.

Twitter encourages TV viewing
Twitter encourages TV viewing

Have you ever sat back in front of the tele, relaxing in your favourite armchair, with your mobile phone open to Twitter?

If you answered Yes, you’re not the only one.

I’m increasingly enjoying watching live TV with a gang of friends – on Twitter.

While some people may have been doing this for some time, it only recently kicked in for me during My Kitchen Rules, the Channel 7 ‘reality’ series pitting passionate cooking couples against each other. I’ve been enjoying tweeting comments about the show and sharing views with others. We tweet about what the Kitchen couples are like, how the food looks, and how hot the celebrity chefs are. All brought together under a hash tag (one of the superior evolutions of Twitter).

On any given night of the week, you’ll find similar hash tag debates bringing Australian lounge rooms together: #spicksandspecks #cougartown #lost and much more. Longer show titles get a shortened version, such as #mkr for My Kitchen Rules or #sytycd (So You Think You Can Dance).

So, what are TV stations doing to capitalise on this?

I must admit I was surprised to see Daryl Somers gloating about Hey Hey It’s Saturday being a trending topic on Twitter some months ago, when Hey Hey had a comeback special. Still not sure he knows what Twitter is … but besides this, have you seen many TV corporation references to Twitter?

Free to air television is finding its environment increasingly competitive, with audiences being pulled toward downloading content, DVDs, and viewing on demand without commercials in general.

Now, its strength just may be in encouraging audiences to watch alongside pals online as the show airs in real time, enjoying the show in an interactive forum they’ve never been able to experience before.

Last night, I tweeted about My Kitchen Rules for the entire program. And you know what’s really interesting for TV channels – and their advertisers? I tweeted about the commercials during the show. So did my tweet pals. We critiqued the commercials, the advocates featured in them, the creative used and how we felt about them.

There’s some real audience connection, market research and advocacy going on.
Let me know if you’ve seen TV stations encouraging social media take up anywhere.

Interesting articles:

Live TV’s Alive as Ever, Boosted by Social Media

TV and Social Media Engagement

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