I love television. That’s not new news to anyone who regularly reads my work. I routinely record up to 4 hours of TV a night, that I can watch back in under 3 hours by skipping commercials, intros and the boring parts.
Here’s something that is new news. Thanks to social apps, I now watch more live TV than ever before.
For example, last night American Idol was on. Instead of sending it straight to the DVR, I watched live because of app called Viggle. Viggle rewards me with points for watching and more points if I watch live because then I can play their real-time trivia game. They even give me extra points if I stick around for the commercials and prove it by answering questions after the show.
There were moments when I wondered why I was bothering. Why I was sitting through five minutes of car commercials just to earn 15 points toward an iTunes gift card? But sit I did, and I was annoyed when I had to stop watching early because of another commitment. A potential 40 points lost!
This may sound crazy, but I am not alone in this. A new iModerate Research Technologies study shows that 58% of heavy social media users are watching more live TV. (I can hear the studio execs cheering from here.)
The respondents said that interacting through a social app made watching TV more entertaining. They also liked the feeling of being part of a group and virtually hanging out with friends.
Social TV app GetGlue offers stickers for rewards and chatter when you check-in, but no incentive to stay with a program beyond that. Viggle and Peel both keep viewers engaged by using an audio sync to determine what they’re watching and to deliver timed messages. Miso doesn’t use audio sync, but they serve up timed slideshows designed to keep the viewer engaged throughout the length of the program as well. Social plus Gaming plus Technology equals a win.
If social apps can make people watch TV commercials, then you gotta wonder what else it can do.
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