Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Television getting social with the audience

As a News Executive Producer for Canal 13 Chile, I had the opportunity to participate in key decision concerning the media industry, changes in broadcast technologies and new media platforms that provide audiovisual content.

As a graduate student in the Media Strategy and Leadership program at Northwestern University - Medill, I am specializing in how new technologies are providing unimaginable possibilities to produce and distribute content to the audiences. In the competitive market of broadcast television, clear strategy and effective management are key factors that should be taken into account by each and every organization.

Despite the perception that television audience is declining due to the rise of new media tools, 94% of all viewership in the US still occurs on a regular TV set according to Nielsen for the 2011 period. It is estimated that by 2015, younger audiences will spend only half of their video watching time on traditional linear TV. People are watching more television programs but, at the same time, they are accessing that content online through the use of laptops, ipads and smartphones.

Television’s immediacy to deliver content and its capacity to reach wide audiences are still key factors recognized by advertisers.  However, television lacks the capacity to prolong in time that communication that any given content generates with the viewers. TV has never had this instant feedback loop before,and it works just the same for TV commercials. That’s where Social Media is becoming a powerful tool for broadcasters. Social Media boost the conversation between audience and the source of content and, at the same time, provides rich feedback and loyalty-building opportunities. 

Broadcasters should keep in mind:  
  • Don't forget that the audience is constantly connected and that they expect something different on the web, something to go deeper in their preferences. 
  • Advertising must talk in the social media language no in the 30 seconds traditional appearance, examples of this can be found in YouTube.
  • Television is in real time so it is twitter and facebook, don't let your web audience behind your television feed, they love multitasking.
The biggest impact on television industry is the loss of advertising investment, that money has been increasing being shifted to online based marketing.  In 2010, mobile platform and new media sites have almost duplicated the previous year ad revenues. Brands want to take part of the consumers conversations, they want to become social. Television content is generating new spaces for conversation and viewership on online and social media. Broadcasters can provide innovative online solutions where viewer can interact and engage with content and brands.

Miguel Huerta is a Media Strategy and Leadership Candidate at Northwestern University. He has 17 years of experience television as a news executive producer in Chile. Follow him at @miguelhuerta


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