The big daddy awards show, The Oscars, is getting with the social-media picture this year and live-streaming from its red carpet to the web. A live show on Oscar.com from 3-5 p.m. PT on Sunday will be followed by behind-the-scenes clips and interviews posted that night. The live show is a Facebook Connect integration where hosts will be asking Facebook fans’ questions of stars as they arrive for the ceremony.
In the year since Facebook and CNN’s landmark integration for the Obama inauguration, every major live televised event has made efforts to become social. Of course, these are baby steps; we’re not planning on watching the Super Bowl streamed live online any time soon.
Last year, by contrast, industry publications like Variety were the ones to integrate a newly released Facebook Connect widget for the Academy Awards; this year Oscar.com — jointly produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and ABC — is playing host to the social TV chats itself. This is coming from the recent past of a couple years ago when the Oscars provided barely any online video content of their own while aggressively taking down YouTube uploads of memorable moments from the ceremony.
What’s now the industry standard is to live-stream from the red carpet of an event, often using Ustream or Livestream. (That trend has extended past actual live events to movie premieres for highly anticipated films like the Michael Jackson biopic and the Twilight Saga’s “New Moon”.) Earlier this year the Golden Globes went so far as to bring in Facebook (along with Digg and Twitter) for red carpet coverage of its own, with Facebook employees interviewing celebrities over a live stream using fan questions asked online.
The Social TV phenomenon — where viewing becomes a shared experience using the web or mobile — is at its best for live, simultaneously events. And giving fans access to stars through red carpet streaming is a perfect application, even though it’s a bit of a facade, since red carpets end when the invited guests head indoors for the main event.
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