Hollywood awards season. This is one of two (or maybe three) guilty pleasures I allow myself in life without excuse. The film, the fanfare, the fashion… I can’t get enough. From the nomination announcements to the events themselves, I love it. And the fact that its kickoff overlaps the height of my other guilty pleasure (NFL football playoffs), Well… it just doesn’t get any better.
Over the past few years the industry has been diving deeper and deeper into social media to combine it with their live spectacles. This year the partnership between social media and the awards season has not disappointed. In fact, it may have changed the way we see the future of televised programming.
Entertainment blogs sent writers and tweeters to the events. Paparazzi and event-goers posted photos to websites and social networks like Pinterest. Television networks incorporated tweet-meters and “What’s hot” indicators. Live blogging has been everywhere from the nomination announcements to the red carpet arrivals and the events themselves. The fans have enthusiastically participated live with real-time comebacks to awards hosts’ witty remarks and live commentary about fashion hits and misses and celebrity faux pas. An adrenaline-filled, multi-channel, live-fetish, interactive media overload – and I can’t get enough.
Social media makes the awards ceremonies more fun to watch; but I would be watching anyway. This year more than ever, social media is encouraging non-awardaholics to tune in and even take part. Must-tweet = Must-see. Television is turning into a living, breathing channel not just for viewing but for engaging and interacting thanks, in part, to live programming like awards ceremonies and sporting events. Just wait and see what happens at the Superbowl during the multi-million dollar commercial breaks.
Just last night I noticed major networks adding on-screen, hashtagged keywords during programming. This is a good sign toward integration. But, only time will tell if this seemingly perfect relationship between social media and television will last. As rating successes continue for live events like the Golden Globes and the Superbowl, the industry will need to consider social media an important part of their programming decisions by creating and scheduling content that fans will not only watch, but tweet about and interact with.
This could signal a huge change in the way we’ve thought about the future of television. The networks and key players in the industry hold the future of this opportunity in their hands. Whatever the case, with the Superbowl and the Oscars right around the corner I’m in my happy place.