Little did you know that a tweet of yours on your account could dictate what you watch on TV. At least that is what’s happening in Australia and may be followed suit by the makers in other countries as well.
The most obvious alibi for the move is that makers not only understand the value of audience’s feedback, but also realize the power of social media and how it has replaced the mouth-to-mouth publicity with great aplomb. By the virtue of the increasing reach of the social networks, any negative feedback on a show’s page about the show is read by millions countrywide, which might also dissuade new viewers from watching it. More than anything else, the makers of the show can build a whole feedback graph covering extensively what viewers like and what they don’t like.
One of the shows which saw a huge makeover after carefully assessing the conversations happening on social media was Bondi Rescue that airs on Channel 10 in Australia. The show had a documentary-style feel to it owing to its voice over which wasn’t garnering them positive responses from the viewers. Makers also realized that the storyline of the show wasn’t impressive enough so they revamped their show by doing away with voiceovers and completely changing the storyline.
The critics and the general viewers have found a great platform on social media for voicing their opinions – mostly grievances – with the shows. The producers have assigned dedicated teams to assess the social media discussions about their reality shows or dramas and gauge if they are hitting the right notes with the viewers.
“I found when I was monitoring social media people were really frustrated by it, so in the second season we were quite keen to present a different kind of relationship where they got together and it was about what happens after,” he said.
The feedback from social media helps more explicitly when a show is being aired season-wise. Social media monitors can scan the Facebook and Twitter for comments on the shows’ official pages or other user-created pages and write scripts according to what ‘consensus’ they receive. The producers can also get the audience involved by asking specific questions about characters or episodes and gauging their replies.
Though social media can’t wager that viewers will have a good time watching a re-written show, but it can sure communicate the opinions to the makers in real-time.
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