In Social TV’s bonus chapter, Stacey and I illustrated the power of content and choice using USA Network Psych’s #HashtagKiller program as an example. And while so much of 2011 and 2012 focused a lot on technology (especially the second screen) in the social TV era of television, we’ve talked a lot recently about a shift back to what TV is really about: storytelling. What USA did with Psych began to give a glimpse of the possibilities. And there are so many more...
This past November, I blogged about the social TV polling trend – enabling viewers to actually affect the course of an on-air program in real-time. Well, CBS just raised the bar announcing that viewers of its Monday, January 14th Hawaii Five-0 episode can Tweet using one of 3 hashtags while they’re watching to affect the ending of the “murder mystery.” (H/T: The Verge)
According to CBS, "Voting will take place in real time during the broadcasts for both East/Central and Pacific time zones." So what this means is that it's possible that the former timezone may see a different ending than the latter. That's pretty cool.
I personally love the notion of the Twitter backchannel as a means to instantaneously crowdsource television content. But the big questions are how many people will actually participate and will doing this help drive tune-in? I’ll follow up next week with a post that measures the amount of Tweets generated by each of the hashtags.
As an aside, as more TV networks do instant Twitter polls like this, a start-up to watch is Poptip which uses its proprietary algorithm to easily capture and report the results of Twitter polls in real-time. It’s a great time saver to help count the votes (accurately) and it’s great for the people participating as they can see which choice is getting the most votes as the show unfolds.