Social TV: What is the Future of the Transmedia Experience?

First screen. Second screen. Third screen. What does any of this mean for the future of TV and your viewing experience?

The first screen is your TV. Let’s say you’re viewing a show like AMC’s Walking Dead. You can choose to view the experience as solely watching the TV show, and then watch the after-show dedicated to dissecting it, called Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick. That’s a first screen experience.

However, while viewing Walking Dead and Talking Dead, you can be interacting with friends on GetGlue, Twitter, or Facebook via your second screen — your laptop or tablet — or your third screen — your Android or iPhone. You can phone in a question to Talking Dead while you’re watching it live on the first screen, and then tweet in a comment or question on your second or third screen simultaneously. It’s television ADD.

It remains to be seen whether all of this social interaction during the airing of the shows will be the death of the QR Code. Jesse Redniss, SVP of digital of USA Network, recently told Brian Solis that their “hashtag killer” gimmick for their Psych series maximized fan sentiment for the show. According to Redniss, Nielsen recently equated a 14% lift in social buzz to a 1% ratings lift.

Smart marketers, like AMC’s Walking Dead, know the fans can never get enough, and they’re catering to those fans through integrated transmedia opportunities, meeting those fans at every corner, further enhancing the social TV fan experience.

Walking Dead webisodes for the second or third screen are available for fans once the regular TV series is over until next week, or on hiatus for the season. There are also gaming apps. Smart TV shows are interacting with fans on Facebook and Twitter to get their reactions to various characters, story arcs and plots. TV series like THE OFFICE do a great job of writing blogs in first-person POV to continue the entertainment cycle outside of the TV series. CASTLE, the TV series featuring murder mystery author Richard Castle who embeds himself with a detective to get details for his books, wisely published a series of books to continue the fan experience with this fictitious author. Fans can review these books via GoodReads.com and socially bookmark the links to share out their reviews. Social is here to stay — integrated into every aspect of the entertainment experience.

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