life after today: reflections on Lemonade
a modest proposal - why Conan should go digital NOW

viewers demand real-time social co-viewing, why can't the networks deliver?

For the past two years, nearly every major broadcast event has appeared as pirated streams on Ustream.  In fairness to Usteam, they have done a pretty good job taking down many of these streams.

However, when thousands of people are tuning in online to a poor-quality stream, and thousands more are online discussing these events in real-time on Twitter and Facebook, we are left wondering, when will the broadcast networks finally embrace these platforms the way their viewers do, in real-time?

Sure, the big networks make their bread and butter on broadcast ads.  But isn't it time we learned how to target and dynamically serve ads by broadcast region?  This would effectivley provide a scaled, local, plug and play option for affiliates while allowing for faster national scale.  Would this really detract from live tv viewing numbers?  I doubt it.  Would it be expensive deploy?  Sure, but it's an investment, an a good one at that. 

Integrated social chat is a cornerstone of the future of real-time interactive viewing.  If the networks want to eventually deploy interactive video, and if they want us to click on those interactive ads, they need to start by getting us leaning forward with our hand on the mouse instead of slumped back, passivley glazing over while the tv shouts at us.  Look at the early adopter viewing habits.  Our hands are already on the mouse, we're already chatting up a firestorm.  Now it's up to the networks to get us engaging with and through their properties.  They have to use their strongest asset - the content.  Let us engage with and through your content around our social lives.  Engage us, engage the audience properly, and I promise, we will end up engaging with and through you.

You can't fight change.  It just amazes me how long it's taking any of the major networks to embrace this particular change.

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