On Sunday I watched the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards along with some 17 million people. Instead of tuning in through cable, I found a nifty live stream at VIP Box, thanks to a Twitter search. Yes, I cut the cord and I'm no longer a cable subscriber, but that's another post in waiting. The evening's lowlights included Gervais' softballs to the crowd, Madonna speaking without the added benefit of a track and Helen Mirren's topsy turvy tribute to Morgan Freeman.
The evening's BIG winner, in my mind: the Internet. Sorry, Meryl but I too have an iron-clad story to support this distinction.
You see, after finding E!'s red carpet webcast online, I checked into the Golden Globes through GetGlue on my iPad, the social programming check-in service. I was swifttly rewarded by NBC and GetGlue for my trouble with an official 2012 Golden Globe Awards sticker, yay! I was then prepared to hang with my friends. No, not at home, as it was bitterly cold in NYC and I was already in pajama mode. Instead we chose Facebook and Twitter for our digi-tainment. "Did you see what she was wearing? Eat something!" and, "that was nominated?," were common phrases among my cohort.
For roughly four hours I streamed the awards show on the television monitor through a PC while participating in online chatter via laptop, iPhone and iPad. Though exhausting, I loved every moment of it. Sharing musings with friends around a universal passion point like "celebrity" was enough to awaken the Joan Rivers within.
Tweeps turned my timeline into a real-time play by play of the ceremony using hashtags like, #goldenglobes and #goldenglobes2012. Celebs became trending topics too, go figure! On Facebook the "Likes" of and comments to posts were busily refreshed as friends shared their opinions back and forth. Was I getting paid per post, one dubious friend asked via Facebook. Not yet, I responded. She was obviously not watching the ceremonial theatrics, thank you very much.
I suspect that television viewing habits have migrated toward the "multi-screen" experience for many, not simply for the so-called "early adopters." For example, Search Engine Watch noted that, on "Nov. 28, (2011) comScore Video Metrix reported that 184 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in October," and mobile growth is also staggering, "YouTube now exceeds 200 million views a day on mobile." The audience has made its choice, they want content on the big, small, virtually any screen they have access to.
By nature of my work, I try out new experiences in order to formulate opinions about them and counsel clients on how digital platforms can be leveraged for their brands. Well, here's one thought for both developers and brands: the social television viewing experience needs work. Although I was energized for the Golden Globes online chatter, the multi-screen experience left my eyes drained and my multitasking skills strained.
Content, engagement platform and experience need to be better integrated in order for viewers to want to participate. Currently the barrier for participation is high, especially for those with ADD. Where's the digital hub with content being streamed alongside social conversation, while program enhancements like offers, celeb chats and other value adds, are presented to viewers on the same screen? At least, those are some of the items I'd like to see live under a single platform. P.S. Golden Globes, no official live stream? Really? It's 2012.
Did you watch the Golden Globes? How was your viewing experience enhanced either through online networks or mobile platforms?
Follow Pedro L. Rodriguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/plrodriguez