Continuing its coverage of social media and TV, Brian Stelter reported in the New York Times on how TV Industry Taps Social Media, in this case for the Oscars. Recognizing that people multiple task with their computer while watching TV as I wrote about yesterday, ABC created a companion Web site with behind-the-scenes video streams. Oscar winners will be seen accepting an award on the TV set, then seen celebrating backstage on the Web.
The article quoted Ian Schafer, the chief executive of the digital agency Deep Focus, who said that Twitter and Facebook messages about shows may well be “the most efficient way to drive tune-in.” I have found this for blogs and it makes sense for TV. To me Twitter is a great traffic driver, more than a direct message deliverer. Far from competing than TV, the Twitter “water-cooler effect” makes big shows even bigger. The Grammy Awards had its highest rating in a decade this year with a lot of online support. Again, the same holds for blogs and Twitter, in my view.
The article also quoted Dick Costolo, the chief executive of Twitter, that online conversations about TV shows turn the programs into events, “meaning people watch them as they happen,” blunting the impact of digital video recording. This makes sense, also the Times noted that digital recording remains strong.
The Times reported more data to support this trend. During the Super Bowl this year, Twitter users set a new record by sending 4,064 messages each second, the highest number of messages per second recorded during any sporting event.. In addition, a recent study by Deloitte of American consumers ages 14 to 75 found that 42 percent sometimes surfed the Web while watching TV. I do all the time, especially during onscreen commercials. The eye balls for ads may be drifting online.