Like many live events, the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London drove many people to social media sites such as Twitter to engage in a universal 140 character rant. Except it wasn’t much of a rant, the show was mostly applauded and us Brits stopped our moaning to collaboratively say “wow” “wonderful” and “awesome” as we watched the ceremony cover every cherished aspect of what it means to be British. (Except for the part where One Direction were miming on a truck and everyone over the age of 10 groaned very vocally! But we’ll brush over that!)
Now, the Olympics have been and gone and it was jolly lovely too but it’s that nation/worldwide interactivity that has made me think about television and how we interact with it. I don’t know about you but I’m glued to either my iPhone or iPad (sometimes both!) whilst in front of the box, much to the annoyance of my OH, but I can’t help but reference what I watch. This is what the industry is now calling “The Second Screen”. If it’s a film, I’m on IMDB looking up the actors and directors. If it’s a documentary, I’m reading ZeeBox (or GetGlue) with the programme’s scrolling hashtagged comments. By far the best experience is anything LIVE and Twitter makes the most entertainment in that regard. It made the Olympics much more engaging to watch and I felt like I had the public voicing their opinions from the comfort of my lounge. Some of the commentary was better than what the BBC had on offer!
The change in how we consume television has not gone unnoticed in the tech world and now broadcasters and developers are working on Companion Apps so that you can follow along with your favourite shows. One show that has been highlighted in a BBC article is The Walking Dead, the zombie apocalypse TV series that allows you to predict how many undead will meet face to face with a shovel and how many times. It doesn’t even matter if you watch the show recorded as the show makers have added audio-watermarks that keep the App running in time to the episode you’re watching. At the end of the show you can share your prediction results via Twitter or Facebook. (A nice free marketing plug for the TV series) It doesn’t stop there either, there are apps for other shows that let you see what the actors are wearing and buy the same clothing merchandise online. It’s unforced experience advertising and will likely change the way we consume content in the future (and still annoy my OH!)