When it comes to the “Today” show vs. Good Morning America vs. everyone else morning news battle, I have always been a “Today” show fan. I grew up watching Katie Couric with my mom and have just stuck with it ever since. I like to believe it was my viewership that helped the “Today” show keep their dominating 16-year rating streak going. But alas, all good things must come to an end and in April of 2012, GMA took the lead in viewers, breaking the streak and steadily taking over that number one spot.
In an effort to win back ratings, the “Today” show will be debuting a completely redesigned Studio 1A. The redesigned studio will have a more welcoming and warm feel, with a new sunrise logo and will also feature a new Orange Room digital space to be hosted by Carson Daly. The redesigned studio and Orange Room are not the only changes however, as the show will also attempt to reestablish a human connection with the viewers and find that balance between hard news and human-interest stories.
The new Orange Room is likely to be the change the viewers take note of the most. Designed as an interactive space for the show and its audience, the digital studio will allow the show’s host to tell and share engaging, illustrative stories using state-of-the-art technology video systems. Essentially, it will be a social media hub, which will include analysis of real-time social data and reactions from around the web.
Carson will have viewers weigh in and influence show segments and the space will provide them access to the “Today” family like never before. He will read messages live from Twitter and Facebook as well as conduct online video chats with viewers. Producers are also hoping that celebrities and guests on the show will also participate in the video chats after their segments.
Since these days more people reach for their smart phone first thing in the morning than their TV remote, it will be interesting to see what kind of feedback the show receives from viewers and how many viewers actually do choose to interact. Luckily we won’t have to wait long to find out as the new Orange Room and Carson Daly will make their debut on the show on Monday, September 16.
If you know me, you know that I am a reality TV junkie – and I’m not ashamed. My DVR is filled with Bravo and TLC shows and a good Sunday afternoon “Real Housewives of X” marathon is my cup of tea. So while I was excited to hear about Bravo’s new show “Silicon Valley Start-Ups” – it seems as though I may be one of the few.
The show, which premieres November 5, follows a group of young entrepreneurs attempting to hit it big with their tech ideas. With former Facebook marketing exec, Randi Zuckerburg taking the reigns as executive producer, the show is already receiving heat for the way it perceives Silicon Valley.
Focusing on the countless hours of code writing the typical Silicon Valley success story is based off of is not likely to make good TV, so we can assume the show will glamorize the process. And knowing Bravo, it will most likely feature some drama along the way (which should not be too difficult to create given that sticking five 20-somethings in a $17M house with a pool is bound to create some drama regardless of what city it takes place in).
So it’s understandable that many are concerned the show will misrepresent the work ethic of the area as a whole and trivialize the hard work that is being done. Bringing an idea to fruition takes more than just luck and a zip code – but is it likely Bravo will feature that?
If you are expecting to see highlights of world-changing technology mixed with the trials and tribulations of getting this technology off the ground, this show is not likely for you. Nonetheless, I will be tuning in for the pure entertainment value and to see if Silicon Valley was right to be as wary of the production as they currently are.
And if you are curious, here is a breakdown of the entrepreneurs we can expect to see featured:
- Kim Taylor – Digital Director at Ampush Media
- Ben Way – Founder of Rainmakers
- Hermione Way – Sister of Ben and founder of Newspepper
- Dwight Crow – Founder of Carasbi.com
- David Murray – Currently developing a weight loss app
- Marcus Lovingood – Founder of Futureleap
- Jay Holanda – Model
I’m a numbers kind of gal, and so I can’t help but be drawn to new media research statistics. The latest study from NPD looks at television viewing habits, specifically on which devices people (across the word, both in developed and developing-market countries) consume their entertainment. First of all, let’s make it clear that TV sets themselves still bring home the bacon as the most-used device, accounting for 30 percent of those surveyed. However, what’s interesting is that the other 70 percent is made up of viewers who consume television on other devices – PCs, tablets, smartphones, iPods, laptops – you name it. One of our clients actually talks about this, the concept of TV Everywhere, often on their blog if you're interested – The Connected Experience.
Users in the US, UK and Germany were found to be using tablets and laptops much more often than users in market-developing countries, such as China, Russia and Turkey. There, consumers are watching television on smartphones. Why? I asked myself the same question. Turns out, the main reason is because tablets there don’t have cellular connections, and users more often have mobile plans than fixed broadband plans that would give them the capability to stream video on a tablet. But note, that doesn’t mean tablet usage is stagnant anywhere – users are finding ways to consume television on tablets, and the rates seem to be steadily increasing, if not sharply rising.
So what about the other devices that account for 70 percent of viewer statistics?
Personally, I fall into the common categories – smartphone and laptops, with TV itself being my primary go-to device. But where do you fall into the mix, and do you have any habits of when/where you choose particular devices over others?
I’d be curious to see a similar study done real-time around high-profile events, such as the summer Olympics. Being the global event that it is, it would be facilitating to see where fans are viewing the games, and how they’re supporting their hometown athletes. Would the stats in this research change at all? Will audiences alter their viewing habits, and would the popularity rankings of devices change? Especially with events scheduled around the clock, it might even be worthwhile looking at when consumers use which devices, and why.
I’ll keep an eye out for those stats, but in the meantime, go USA!
- Mary Evans