Users now use Twitter, Facebook, and apps such as Zeebox to draw attention to TV shows, the social tools have inadvertently killed traditional TV advertising. Television stations have transitioned their ads to audiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Zeebox. As a result, television advertising is dying out.
It’s important to note the types of programs that get commented on during the show versus during the ad breaks. Sports events, panelists, or reality TV are the types of programs that get commented on during the show. On the other hand, storylined-based shows such as NCIS are commented on or tweeted about only during the ad breaks. And, both types of programs have higher interaction on the social sites during the ad breaks than during the shows.
In the marketing industry, whoever can gain and retain the eyes of people wins. It used to be television, but now it’s the iPad. And, until recently, TV has been losing viewers at a substantial rate to on-demand, interactive, or social media. Then the television networks figured out how to transition viewers back into real time television. They started Tweet-along TV. This allowed viewers to interact with their friends while watching programs such as The Voice. This brought television back into must do activities associated with social media.
Even though the networks were able to bring viewers back, they weren’t able to keep the viewer’s attention during the ad breaks. So if viewers aren’t paying attention to the screen during the advertisements, they’re not even listening to it because their busy reading and responding to tweets about contestants on The Voice.
In addition, the networks have acknowledged that television by itself is no longer engaging enough to viewers. This is why TV show hosts direct viewers to tweet with a hashtag or leave comments on a Facebook page. The ad breaks have now become an exercise in diverging eyeballs away from the television sets. However, the networks turning their data base of viewers over to the social networks. This is why social tools are aggressively trying to gather the database of TV audiences.
For example, Facebook now has a new voting/rating system built into the timeline for shows. Twitter is hiring senior directors in TV here and overseas. And, Zeebox is promoting itself to become the third party app of choice by TV stations.
The audience has transitioned into looking downward at the iPad instead of at the TV set. What used to be the second screen, has now become the first screen. Why would a company want to buy TV ads when they can engage on the second screen? The television networks now need to build their communities on apps.
If these networks will now develop communities on their own iPad apps that integrate Twitter, they will have the opportunity to empower play along, or tweet along shows and retain a multiplatform audience. But, if they continue to hand their audience over directly to Twitter or third-party apps, they will continue to lose their audience.