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Karen Fratti

Karen Fratti is a media and technology writer based in New York City. You can follow her at @karenfratti.

Social Scoreboard: Thursday, October 23

All three Shondaland shows took the top three spots last night according to the Nielsen Twitter ratings: “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” represented for #TGIT. The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” and “Jimmy Kimmel” rounded out the night. nielsen10_23

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Friday Link Roundup: What the MLB Knows and Sitcoms’ Social Media Problems

selfie_layeringIf your television and social media feeds are overflowing with Ebola panic, here are some good social television links you may have missed this week for weekend reading pleasure.

1) “Selfie” and “A to Z” have a social media problem. We’ve written about how “Selfie” breaks the fourth wall, but this Guardian piece explores how this “new generation of romcoms” still struggles to depect social media and its use realistically:

Then there’s the problem of depicting tweeting, messaging and instagramming – behaviour that is not in itself exactly visually stunning. “Selfie”, like “You’re the Worst” and “Sherlock” before it, uses onscreen graphics of texts, Vines, and Instagram, floating words that resemble subtitles. The silent reading is similar to the quiet feedback loops of social media, which might just stop the audience looking away from the screen to tweet – for a minute at least. TV is painfully aware that social media is a powerful rival for viewers’ attentions, which perhaps accounts for its disparaging attitude towards it.

2) Ello, the invite only social network, received a new round of funding and announced yesterday that it will be a PBC, so it can stay true to its “no advertising, ever” mission. The social network maintains that it will never treat users like a product, though that doesn’t mean it can’t be a commercial space, as this piece on The Atlantic explains. Television is the most commercial enterprise there can be and Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr have made strategic moves to cater to fans and networks. I’m guessing if you’re on Ello, you’re too cool to live-tweet “The Voice,” right?

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The Young Turks Experiment With Exclusive Content for Members

In the wake of the Bill Maher and Ben Affleck debate on radical Islam on “Real Time With Bill Maher” a few weeks ago, The Young Turks streamed an interview between Cenk Uygur and Sam Harris last night, author of Project Reason and another at the desk during that “Real Time” discussion. It’s a talk show feedback loop: Uygur had Reza Aslan on the show, Aslan challenged Harris, Harris is invited.

More intriguing than the debate, though, is that the interview came about because fans pushed for it on social media. There are various “TYT Talk” and hashtags for the show’s weekday broadcast.TYT member benefits

The network  itself offered a live-stream of the interview exclusively for its paying members last night and Uygur and Harris were both welcoming questions from social media to guide the debate. The network streamed the interview as a way to expand upon current membership benefits and, according to a statement, “continue [to] push to build revenue and value off YouTube.”

The perks are more entertaining than most Kickstarter campaigns: for $10/month fans get the “Entire Main Show & Post Game Show ad free, podcast network shows,” but for a $100 or $1,000? Conference calls with the hosts or a one -on-one call with Cenk Uygur once a month. Talk about engagement. You can see the full interview with Harris below:

Twitter Chats and TV Stars Just Don’t Mix

gwenchatTwitter chats are the bane of my existence and if you’re trying to market a television show, they should be yours, too. They are messy, hard to follow, and usually not that interesting at best. At the very least, the show or star should ask the questions, not the other way around.

Like Monday night’s Twitter chat with Gwen Stefani, promoted by Twitter, “The Voice” judge was taking questions and promoting her new album. The chat was supposed to be moderated with the hashtags #BabyDontLie, the name of her new single, and #AskGwenStefani.

No one expects a Twitter chat with a primetime celebrity and musician to be deep. But what could be good publicity — like a Reddit AMA — ends up in the social media ether on Twitter. Like this:

Or this:

In all, she answered about 20 questions in the half hour block after the “The Voice” on Monday night, sifting through abuse and nonsense. Once upon a time, a Twitter chat was a good idea, a way to see how much you could engage with your followers. These days? There has to be a better way.

Social Scoreboard: Tuesday, October 21

“Pretty Little Liars,” “The Voice,” and ESPN’s “30 for 30″ took the top three spots last night according to Nielsen’s Twitter ratings. FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” and the CW’s “The Flash” rounded last night’s ratings. All of those numbers are dwarfed by the World Series’ Twitter activity, which ranked first in the Nielsen Sports category with 562,000 tweets by 253,000 unique authors. nielsen 10_21

ABC News Consolidates Digital and Broadcast Coverage for Midterm Elections

abc_news_default_2000x2000_update_16x9t_384You know there are midterm elections coming up, right? Consider this your reminder. ABC News has already announced plans for its coverage of the elections, notably combining their on-air broadcast with the digital coverage. Instead of having an entirely different program for second screen viewers, it will be the same cast of characters, same line-up. Worlds will collide.

Anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead uninterrupted overage from 7 p.m. ET until 2 a.m. ET from ABC News headquarters in Times Square. In addition to other ABC contributors such as Diane Sawyer, Matthew Dowd, Fusion’s Alicia Menendez, and the Washington D.C.’s bureau Cokie Roberts will be on hand for analysis.  The ABC news team will also host FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, who will live-blog and join Stephanopoulos on air.

It’s really a multi-media election showdown. The broadcast will be available to stream on abcnews.com, ABC News mobile apps and Apple TV. ABC News Digital will introduce personalized alerts for Election Night, updating users with all the results from their local races. 

And, thank the network gods, in the name of an informed democracy, viewers can stream the election coverage from the app or website without a cable subscription.  

Social Scoreboard: Monday, October 20

Wait, “WWE Monday Night Raw” isn’t a real sports event? Once again, it’s topped the Monday night Nielsen Twitter Ratings for Series and Specials with 160,000 tweets by 48,000 unique authors. NBC’s “The Voice” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” take the second and third place slots. VHI’s “Love & Hip Hop:Hollywood and FOX’s “Gotham” round out the evening with 129,000 and 35,000 tweets, respectively.

nielsen 10_20

Yahoo ‘Letting Tumblr Be Tumblr’ Works for Social TV Marketers

tumblr-logoAll anyone could talk about when Yahoo acquired Tumblr over a year ago was whether or not the micro-blogging platform could remain “cool.” Yesterday, AdWeek reported that it has, in fact, maintained it’s social status; thanks in part to Yahoo’s assistance in garnering advertisers like Gatorade, BMW, and Degree, among others.

A piece of that success can be attributed to Yahoo’s understanding of the platform. From the AdWeek piece:

With Instagram and Pinterest seemingly making the graphics-driven social space incredibly competitive nowadays, [Tumblr's global head of brand partnerships, Lee Brown] contends that Tumblr doesn’t share much of a digital kinship with those platforms. “I would liken us more to the creator networks like YouTube,” he said. “Our network is not based on who you know, it’s based on what you love. … We want it to be all things whether text, animated GIFs, etc.”

Another piece, as reported in the New York Times this week, is Tumblr’s attention to television. Since the hiring of  media director Sima Sistani, Tumblr has been busy forging partnerships with popular social television shows. They’ve worked with “MasterChef” by posting recipes, MTV’s VMA’s with the “giffie awards,”  premiering AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” among others.

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Burst Allows Networks to Use (and Own) Fan Videos During Live Broadcasts

burstlogoIf you watch sports, usually the only good videos of the crowd come from the ‘kiss cam’ at the stadium or whatever panoramic shot a producer finds eyeball-worthy. You’d also know that everyone on the ground is taking their own videos and sending them right to Instagram and SnapChat. Bryant McBride, CEO and co-founder of Burst, wanted to make it easy for broadcasters to grab those videos and use them on live television. Here’s how it works, according to a statement from the company:

This authentic, [user generated] video gets curated and approved by a tapeAD and then directly integrated into the EVS system in the live broadcast production truck. UGC video can be seen on the live broadcast within a few minutes of the consumer sending it to the media company. When a fan submits video from their smartphone, they check a box agreeing to be subject to the media company’s terms and conditions – effectively giving an ownership right of that video to the media company who can legally monetize and repurpose it free and clear.

This summer, Burst partnered with NESN. Using the Burst app and platform, Red Sox fans took their videos in the app, uploaded them to the cloud, and the network sifted through them using the platform and used them in the live-broadcast.

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How Viralheat Uses Social Mentions to Track Sentiment and Brand Personas

viralheatlogoIt’s one thing to know that people are talking about your brand or content on social media. It’s another to know how they feel about it and what else they want. That’s what Viralheat, a social media marketing and analytics platform, wants to know.

They process over 1.5 billion social mentions a day and using their algorithms, are able to decipher sentiment and brand affinity. Recently, they put their data and process to work for Variety magazine, who’s using it to power vScore, which measures an actor’s value based on the sentiment around them on social media. Here’s how they put it:

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