There are big questions about the longevity of TV alongside the competition of online media. Online video content has become so popular globally and in even in South Africa there seems to be a love for video content. Recently YouTube has broken into the top 5 most visited websites by South Africans.
So the question has become – is TV on the way out?
I would argue no. It seems that TV programs are actually experiencing an increase in viewership. So why is this happening if people are obviously spending more and more time online?
I would like to suggest that social media is shaping a new way of watching TV and that rather than phasing out TV it has chosen a symbiotic relationship. Here are a few quick thoughts about how this works:
1) Social media helps promote TV
Social media is often used as an outlet to express watt important to us. When people are excited about important TV episodes/programmes they will use social media to share their enthusiasm. The last Survivor episode, an important rugby match and the chilean miners rescue are all examples of TV being shared in excitement on social networks.
Once this excitement is shared more people are exposed to the TV event taking place and the potential of more people ‘tuning in’ increases.
2) Social Media adds a new layer of engagement
Once the game is on and people are sitting around the beloved box there is often a conversation that begins. It usually is focused around the game/event they are watching and the experience is more enjoyable. In other words, its more fun to watch a game of Rugby with friends than on our own.
Social media lets people take that conversation outside of the room, outside of the stadium and off the television. As people share their thoughts on the game the experience is now felt all over the world from anyone who is interested.
If you don’t understand what I am talking about here run a search on twitter the next time your team is playing a match and see what the twitter community is saying about the game.
3) Smart people – Smart Phones
Smart people take social media on the move. They pack it into their cellphone. Almost every social network has a mobile website and smart phones even have beautifully designed interfaces for these networks.
So as people are able to tweet and share on the go, it becomes easier to start or take part in the conversation online.
A new way of watching TV?
Does social media add a new dynamic to the way you watch TV?
Please leave a comment with your thoughts I would love to hear from you.