Mark Cuban has a nice read over at Blog Maverick that combines a bunch of different ideas we talk about a lot here at NewTeeVee: live entertainment, social TV and participatory media. It’s well worth checking out if you’re interested in any of those topics.
The story focuses around sports TV ratings (they’re up), and in the piece he talks about the participation value of content as it relates to that content’s shelf-life. The longer the shelf-life, Cuban posits, the lower the participation value. He writes:
At the top of the scale are games/shows/movies/events that potential viewers have predicted to have high participation value. These are events that we look forward to not only watching or attending, but that we plan in advance how we are going to extend our participation. We may plan on tweeting about it or posting a facebook update because we know our friends are there and we are bragging to each other, while at the same time showing off to friends who cant be there. Think going to the opening of Cowboys stadium, or going to a concert or opening night of a movie, or watching the big game.
As we’ve written, hobbies like fantasy sports have helped spur interest in football. Fans are no longer interested in just the home game, they are interested in every game, and checking stats throughout the week. That fantasy fever is spreading beyond sports and into other entertainment arenas. Cuban’s piece also reinforces how viewing no longer ends with the screen in front of you on the couch. Our experience extends as we Tweet or Facebook about what we are watching.
Live entertainment is certainly a catalyst for these types of participation as viewer attention is focused on the same thing at the same time and at the same place. The participation may drop off as you move away from live entertainment, but fan communities around shows like Lost, and Star Wars have shown that there are social and participatory opportunities for more on-demand content as well.