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Checking Into Television

Posted by Darren Herman on February 22nd, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Last night, I sat with my wife and watched The Bachelor (her choice, I promise).  I took out my iPhone and ‘checked-in’ via GetGlue, Miso, and Philo as I wanted to check out all of these apps.  According to GetGlue, there are 2,806 visits, 1,312 Likes, and 3,324 Check-Ins for The Bachelor all-time.  I don’t know how many people actually checked-in last night, but it looked like a dozen or two were checked-in while I was watching the show.

The television “check-in” right now is ripe for taking off.  It’s part of a larger trend called SocialTV.  Television networks need help with their ratings and consumers love to interact, so this sounds like a match made in heaven.  Interacting with other people while watching a common show is a win/win opportunity for all constituents in the television ecosystem.  Content creators (studios) love it because there are opportunities to integrate and extend the programming; networks love it because people tune-in, and fans love it because they have a chance to engage with each other and potentially the show itself.

My experience last night fell flat as I expected robust dialogue between all the people who were checked into the show thru the apps.  There weren’t too many people using the apps that did more than “check into” the actual show.  I’m not completely sure why this is and would have to look at the user experience of each individual app for their respective messaging and calls to actions, but I would have thought they would have pushed the community to interact with each other.

While earning badges for eating at restaurants, checking into hotels, and now watching certain television shows are nifty, at some point we all get badge fatigue.  These apps need to move beyond just giving a badge to people who check into a show and move towards harnessing the community and building a robust interactive extension.  This is precisely where I believe the SocialTV app creators will differentiate themselves amongst each other and the smartest ones will sign deals with the networks and content producers to carry their content.

I think this area is going to be fascinating to watch over time.  No pun intended.

Darren Herman is the Chief Digital Media Officer of The Media Kitchen and kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners.  He is also the President and Managing Director of kbs+p Ventures, an early stage investment arm of kbs+p.  He is always on the lookout for innovation on the edges and likes to write about it at his own blog, DarrenHerman.com

One Response to “Checking Into Television”

  1. Paul says:

    The best application I've seen and a model for other TV shows is the Grey's Anatomy app. They've done a great job in terms of how the application interacts with the show. They supply behind-the-scenes information and interactive polls/quizzes.

    I watch the show on DVR, about a week after airing and there were dated comments from others from earlier that day.

    They also do a great job intermingling the advertising (Lexus) but I did notice that the Lexus polls and quizzes are repeated every show. That's a missed opportunity on their part.

    Now I'm trying to figure out how I can apply this to a magazine reading experience.

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