Massively Social TV Programming

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A new genre of TV programming which is inspired by social networking and is based on massive participation through the internet.


From the Communities Dominate Brands blog at

""massively social" could be the next Internet programming genre with the potential to fuel the creation of new styles of TV programs and new ways for consumers to use them.

"Rather than watch 'The Bachelor,' they can be the bachelor," said Dave Carson, Heavy's CEO. "You can make a show and be a part of the show. People are becoming the TV networks themselves."

While television networks say they put the consumer in control because they've unleashed shows from their on-air time slots into broadband and mobile venues, massively social online programs take the concept of consumer control and turbocharge it.

Massively social shows operate as a meritocracy, letting anyone participate from the get-go.

Viewers can submit videos of themselves, answer trivia questions and vote on who should win. Participants and viewers play, watch and interact online at the same time, a community concept popularized by the über-trendy massive multiplayer games and Web sites such as MySpace.

"These reality programs, and just the whole interactivity of the Web plus the social medium sites like MySpace and so forth, all speak to the same thing: People want to be part of the programming," said Will Richmond, president of Broadband Directions, a broadband video research firm.

In this alternative entertainment universe there is no barrier to entry, but only the smartest, savviest or sexiest will win.

Massively social shows, like most Internet programs, are not 30 minutes long. Viewers can watch whenever they want, selecting from short-form produced recaps or individual videos.

If successful, this genre could set off a flood of new programming ideas that turn traditional programming notions, like the 30-minute sitcom or 60-minute drama, on their heads, upside down and inside out." (