Ok, so maybe it isn’t entirely new. But everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon lately – and in a very big way.
I’m talking about web-exclusive content, and it’s coming from several big names.
A few weeks ago, industry insiders reported that Twitter was in talks with several Hollywood producers and network execs about launching original video series via the social networking site. They are rumored to be pitching a select group of advertisers on a series that would be live on Twitter and enable real time user participation. The series would be similar to MTV reality shows – like The Real World – and may be distributed within promoted tweets or on a standalone page.
Twitter seeks to shake up the media space with this sort of platform. By “building content on top of Twitter…(the site) would serve as a distribution vehicle and advertising middleman,” according to an industry insider.
This further integrates the idea of social TV that I mentioned in an earlier post. Instead of a third-party app that facilitates social media interaction, the content would actually exist on the social media platform itself. The in-feed content would appear alongside user tweets, which (instead of acting as the usual social TV commentary) are rumored to potentially influence the show as it airs.
On Monday, Arianna Huffington’s popular online newspaper launched HuffPost Live, a platform featuring 12 hours of daily video content. This socially driven approach to news is ambitious to say the least. Forbes lauded the launch, bugs-and-all, for its thought-provoking Huffington Post sensibility, energetic commentators, largely promising hosts, and running feed of comments.
Huffington seeks to broadcast content that doesn’t receive airtime on “the big 3” networks, and they, thus far, are doing so successfully. As the platform has only been live for a few days, there are obviously a few kinks to work out; but the premise is promising.
People today, especially youth, are consuming their news in a new way. I love The Huffington Post, and for the most part, I do not love broadcast news. The idea of creating a new sort of news network that is relevant to Gen X et al is the right one; and once the kinks are worked out, I am confident HuffPost Live will be as successful as its parent site.
Rounding out the trio of web innovators, Yahoo unveiled #HashOut this week. Big names such as Maria Shriver, “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof, and prominent Princeton Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter – among many others – will be part of the show, which is being described as “the first talk show to be conducted over social media.”
The panel will offer viewers “a new way to talk about the news,” and is certain to be comprised of largely social components. A launch date and further details have yet to be announced, but you can sign up to be alerted here.
All three of these serve the same purpose: to further integrate social with media, in all forms. Services like Viggle add a social component to TV viewing, but these represent a true marriage of the two. As consumers become more and more interconnected, this is the next logical step – one that, hopefully, will prove successful.
Did I name this post A Whole New World purely in order to make this relevant? Yes, yes I did.