By now, it’s well known that the Internet has wrought a widespread revolution in the news and entertainment industries. Old and young, early adopter or Luddite, the Web is central to, and consistently changing, the way we gather and share information.
In the face of these changes, you often heard critiques that the industry “didn’t adjust quickly enough” or that they “dismissed the Internet as a passing fad” – blame didn’t fall far from the industry itself.
But finally, traditional media is fighting back, supported in part by the iPad, courting the publishing industry and America’s addiction to reality TV.
However, one show currently stands out – NBC’s The Voice. The Voice not only gets that primetime television can no longer live in a vacuum, but the show has also taken the next step by redefining the relationship between television and the Internet.
The Voice is actively engaging audiences via the website, social media and popular entertainment outlets, rather than using the Internet as a central hub for online audiences to view past episodes, vote for their favorite participants or read the latest scuttlebutt about the cast.
Specifically, The Voice is joining a new rank of social media savvy TV shows, such as Glee, The Colbert Report and Tosh.O. The Voice live tweets during each episode of the show and promotes its Twitter feed and hashtag #TheVoice in banner updates across the bottom of the television screen. Taking a page from American Idol, The Voice also encourages fans to download special single releases on iTunes.
During the first week of the show, The Voice hit the top 100 chart on iTunes – Javier Colon’s version of the classic Cyndi Lauper tune “Time After Time” shot to #57 only hours after its release. And now that America is voting for The Voice, iTunes is an early barometer of which contestant will make the next round.
Such immediate and direct opportunities to connect with judges and contestants are making The Voice a whole new experience on television. I’ll admit, I enjoy the banter between judges Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine, but more than anything, I watch The Voice as a fan of the media industry. It offers a positive example of traditional and new media working together to create new forms of entertainment.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that television remains an effective advertising tool. By 2016, television advertising will capture 38 percent market share while online advertising will continue to increase steadily to 22 percent. Michael Zuna, chief marketing office at Aflac comments, “video is still an unbelievable medium that combines sight, sound and motion in a way that print and other static mediums do not.”
The Voice adds social networking and a new level of interaction to that list. The show is good for television, good for the Internet and good for audiences worldwide.