Everyone is familiar with the today’s reality shows, where contestants are pitched against each other with the background theme being a dance competition, cooking competition, singing competition, and so on. To increase the audience’s engagement, these shows have voting systems, which give the audience watching these shows on TV, to vote for their favorite contestant by dialing a particular number of messaging to it. Their votes can help that contestant survive in the competition, and sure, it makes the audience feel involved in the scheme of things. All sounds familiar? Well, this whole circus is set for extinction. The reason? Big data.
More than you think! There has been a monumental shift in how viewers consume TV shows today. A huge population of TV audience owns at least one smartphone. People’s addiction (for lack of a better term) to their devices means that they are constantly online and socially active. This also includes the time when there are watching television. So, whenever there is something they like, hate, get disgusted with, love, enjoy, and feel a strong emotion about something on the television, it immediately makes it into their Twitter feed, be it Jon Snow’s death (?), or The Flash’s latest fight against Zoom. As often happens in this case, the emotions are still raw and the tweets are an indication of exactly what the audience thinks about the show at that moment.
Here comes the boring part. There are algorithms that analyze the shows being aired on TV and compare that with the tweets made by people, and connect the two based on their “context”. This means that even if you do not mention the name of the show in your tweet, the algorithm is capable of relating your tweet with the content on the show. That’s freaking awesome. But, that’s not where it ends. The algorithm can also make sense of whether your tweet is positive, or negative.
Do you see where I am going with this? The show producers can analyze the big data of all the tweets made during the airing of the show to understand the emotions of the people watching them, without actually interacting with them on the phone. Who need the phone now! This helps the showmakers to
make suitable decisions. They can either engage with the people who are creating trending tweets, or make suitable changes to their shows to make them more enjoyable and popular among the audiences. In fact, the show producers are already doing this. It is only a matter of time before the voting via phone system, is phased out completely.
Livefyre streams are online comment sections, where people can voice their opinion on the content they have read or seen. As most of you would know, these comment sections can often be a place for heated discussions. People are very assertive, to say the least, in these sections and love to express their opinions. As blog owners or website owners, whether you like it or not, the people who are the most active in the comment sections are the most active and loyal visitors. In fact, most people spend more time going through the comments and understanding different people’s views than they actually spend reading the original content. Naturally, these comment sections are not something that can’t be ignored. And ignored, they are not.
Livefyre, which offers the comments platforms, is changing the television industry by making use of all the comments that are posted on its platform, which is used by innumerable number of websites. By making use of (guess what, again?) Big Data analytics to study the nature and tone of the comments being posted on Livefyre streams on various topics, including TV shows. The algorithms that do this are so smart that they can actually differentiate between comments made by people interested in the discussion and spam comments made by random marketers. Again, as with Twitter, this information can be used by the show producers to gauge the mood and opinion of the show producers to make suitable decisions regarding the show.
All of this in itself is amazing to think and makes us wonder about the ingenuity of people and technology behind these systems. But, this is not even the complete story. Livefyre is going one step further than this. It is offering an advertising feature for businesses in its comment section. These ads are highly targeted and are based on the discussions happening in the Livefyre streams in real time. So, if you are discussing about a TV show in a comment section of a website, don’t be surprised to be flooded with ads about that very show there. It is no coincidence. Now you know. A number of major TV networks have already joined the bandwagon to utilize this platform.
In conclusion, phone as a medium of involving TV viewers by show producers, is set to go out of existence, soon. When you have a reliable cable TV package, you can tweet during all your favorite shows whenever you want!