Television is changing…..Digital Fuel

Very recently a Japanese broadcaster has taken up audience reactions to a program and posted them nearly in real-time on the screen. Nihan Terebi’s mystery television drama series “Piece Vote” started broadcasting incorporating real-time user comments and reactions. While this is not a new thing as far as online was concerned and we have seen several instances where people watching cricket scores emote continuously across a chat window in the same page…..it is definitely a game changer in the TV environment.

Such real-time responses also tend to the emotive rather than being fully fledged “comments” in the Western sense, often lacking a complete message, but assuming a more emotional stance. This is especially the case given that most Japanese Internet users prefer to remain anonymous anyway, which does not then lend itself well to posting fully rounded opinions. Often the comments take the form of “support messages” for the cast or performer.

User forums and bulletin boards are also frequently updated in real-time by mobile Internet users, posting responses while they watch TV programs. Media can use these to gauge audience reactions and to adjust accordingly.

“Piece Vote” takes the responses from a range of different sites, including Twitter, mobile Internet sites, and the program’s digital broadcasting portal, and filter them onto the screen to produce an immediate sense of how fellow audience members are reacting to the progress of the drama, as depicted below. Responses do not appear quite instantaneous, since the broadcaster needs a few seconds to collate the tweets and comments and check them for quality and appropriateness before then streaming them onto the television.

The trial project is the brainchild of producer Yuta Fujii, a 24-year-old employee who only joined NTV three years ago. Inspired by his generation’s adoption of media like Nico Nico Douga (a local version of YouTube, streams users’ comments across the embedded video at the point in which users had left the original comment, creating a multi-dimensional and interactive channel), he wanted to maintain that sense of a shared experience when watching television, and to involve the audience more directly in the program.

Television is changing!! For most viewers, it may not necessarily appear on a regular TV in the future, and needs to provide more intuitive interaction for viewers to reward them with better experiences. Further developments of this digital streaming initiative include making communities so only your friends can see your comments, or being able to post public questions about the drama in realtime and then chat with other viewers or the creators themselves. 

 

 

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~ by digivine on September 27, 2011.

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