VIDEO may have killed the radio star but the internet is making the TV star shine brighter.
Watching TV on your own has become a social experience, with viewers talking back.
From the Academy Awards to Glee , and Coachella to the Billboard Awards, viewers at home eagerly jump into the conversation, creating trending topics with hashtags that spur other viewers into action.
Twitter regularly sees spikes in participation when popular programs or live events air on TV.
Specialist digital marketing agency Digital Clarity has been watching the growing trend among British television users.
‘‘ Up until 12 months ago, TV was struggling to reach the younger market as more and more channels were becoming available,’’ Digital Clarity founder Reggie James said in a statement.
‘‘ Social TV has changed this completely by turning programs into online events where you have to watch them as they happen.’’
Now TV junkies can purchase hardware to enhance their TV viewing, like Apple TV and Roku digital receiver boxes.
Online software and apps are racing to be embraced too, with GetGlue currently the most popular. It’s basically a TV version of FourSquare, with more than 31,000 check-ins at the Oscars in February.
Developers and networks are keen to catch the social television trend.
Comedy Central’s inaugural Comedy Awards show ran a live hashtag ( buzzword) feed in the corner of the screen. Programs Bones and Breaking In added hashtags on screen in April and C-SPAN even streamed tweets from US senators during the quorum call.
In Australia, thousands of people each week discuss Q& A on Twitter. The live commentary has been added as an interactive dimension to the program, featuring selected Tweets with the hashtag # qanda.
It’s a fun new way to participate in a live political discussion, with selected tweets published on-screen during the live program.
Real-time discussions about TV and current affairs are the future of media interaction, not just consumption.
It’s a media conversation and as much as we like to watch, we like to talk.
▼Each week many Australians discuss the live political program on Twitter in real time, with selected tweets ( featuring the hashtag # qanda) published on-screen during the show. www. abc. net. au/ tv/ qanda
Like Foursquare for TV fans, users can check-in to the program they’re watching, receive points, earn virtual rewards and interact. www. getglue. com
The TV network has launched a ‘‘ second screen’’, inviting fans to join online conversations with the stars, writers, directors and producers of HBO shows during screening. connect. hbo. com
Share your favourite shows, earn points and badges. www. gomiso. com
Checkin, follow TV shows, discuss and share on your profile. www. followmy. tv
Is a ‘‘ virtual living room’’ where you can watch TV in real time with other fans. www. watchparty. tv