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Social Media Has Given Audiences Ownership of Their Entertainment

Mike Campbell
September, 2013

Consuming television and movie entertainment has generally been a passive activity. The audience would sit on the couch and watch television, letting the news of the day wash over them, or laugh at the latest sit-com and cry with the latest drama. Conversations might spark up with significant others, roommates, or coworkers around the water cooler the next day. But that seemed the extent of an audience’s participation with television and movies. All that has changed.

With the rise in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, Internet forums, podcasts, and the like, the audience is participating on a larger scale and media creators have now recognized this change in audience behavior. A Viacom survey found, “Respondents engage in an average of 10 TV-related activities on social media platforms on a weekly basis, including: interacting with friends and fans, following/liking a TV show, searching for info and show schedules, and gaming or signing up for freebies."

This engagement is happening on second and third screens – laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Content creators are leveraging these secondary screens with additional content that engages the audience more deeply through social activities or bonus content and the audience becomes more connected to the content. The intimacy of these second screens allow the audience to literally hold content in their hands. This engagement can lead a movie to drop 39% viewership in 24 hours from tweets and Facebook posts or how a TV flop can find new life on the big screen. 

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