Confession: There is a plethora of change occurring with TV and social media and I didn’t realize it until last Friday. I’m a little embarrassed.
Despite not being a) a client of Hill Holiday, b) an industry leader (yet…haha), or c) part of the press, I was invited to attend Hill Holiday’s #TVnext, a summit to explore the next era of television: one that’s more social, more connected, and more portable. It was incredible. (And another HUGE thanks for the invite, @hillholiday!)
I have so much to say about this experience but to avoid repeating what’s already been blogged by other attendees, I’ll keep this to a few key observations.
My main take away: this industry is becoming very organic and interactive, very quickly.
James McQuivey’s keynote really resonated with me. To paraphrase, TV is the most powerful medium in the world. It fulfills basic human needs: it informs, connects us socially, and creates incredibly powerful emotions. We can use TV to choose what need we want to fulfill and when. It’s a “social currency” on the playground.
The way we watch TV is changing, but the industry itself is here to stay. (Unlike my previous assumptions about it’s slow decay. Obviously, I was wrong).
Though Part 1 (TV gets social) was most aligned to my current interests and work, the hands-down coolest thing I heard about during #TVnext was the iPad app technology that syncs with what you’re watching on TV via embedded audio tags. This type of app can customize the experience, stream social media conversations, show photos and behind-the-scenes tid bits….and the possibilities are endless! Especially with regard to advertising. This #TVnext attendee had some interesting things to say about online advertising solutions.
I am SO tempted to buy an iPad TODAY to watch the newly released Grey’s Anatomy Sync…well, sync with Grey’s Anatomy. A show I’m really not interested in, by the way – but I’m dying to see what the social experience is like.
I feel like these Sync applications embody everything I learned at #TVnext: socialization is exploding around TV shows on mediums like Twitter and Facebook; the industry is getting connected through multiple new technology platforms that don’t require a cable provider; and your favorite show is (or will soon be) ported to whatever device you want to watch it on.
My biggest question is if ABC is targeting the correct demographic: Do the people who watch Grey’s own iPads? Do they even care about social media? Or would an app like this make more sense for a show that appeals to a slightly older, more affluent and tech-savvy crowd?
Unfortunately, a $500 iPad isn’t in the cards for me right now, so I’ll keep my credit intact and see what Mashable has to say about the experience.