Why Social Media Marketers Need to Get on Board with Online TV
Another clear trend in interactive TV is choice of delivery. While older adults continue to buy a programming package from an established provider like DirecTV or Bright House, young people are opting for more creative – and cheaper – avenues. Devices that pick up Web programming for Internet-ready TVs are cheap and readily available, making it easy to watch free video and TV programming on demand. Sites like Hulu.com cost nothing, and even their premium service is a pittance compared to the cost of a cable or satellite service. By subscribing to a TV provider, a movie provider like Netflix, and a sports provider like ESPN, viewers can get a higher level of service offered by traditional services for less than half the cost of a basic package. This could significantly impact the bottom line for traditional services as attitude shifts and access competition expands. In addition to the changing face of delivery, crossover TV/Web programming is rapidly becoming the norm, and new networks and online venues are often far ahead of the stodgier traditional studios. People who log into Hulu to watch their favorite shows can invite friends, join a group chat, tweet, post to Facebook, and otherwise share the experience. Some show producers have stepped up the game by adding online enhancements to the show itself. ABC’s wildly successful series LOST was one of the first series to use Web involvement, creating a site replete with hidden information, clues, character development, games, quizzes, forums, and other interactive Easter eggs for the faithful. (I confess to being a complete LOST fanatic, eating these alternate reality games up as they were revealed.) Some shows, like Fox’s Bones have arranged live tweet sessions where show regulars interact with fans, answering questions and chatting during the show.