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If The Voice twisted the TV talent-show formula, it damn near revolutionized the use of social media in the live viewing experience. For every participant in the process — contestant to coach to couch potato — the show provides engagement in multiple ways: Fans can send tweets to their favorite finalists and coaches (and often get a response), and the coaches can rally the viewers for votes.
“The kind of closeness, access and insider perspective that Twitter provides combined with a TV show is a really magical connection,” says Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s director of content and programming.
Talpa Media Group’s Sjoerd Demaret, who’s based outside of Amsterdam and wrote the 88-page “digital bible” that every territory is handed when they license the Voice format, witnessed the correlation firsthand when the number of Twitter users in his home country jumped 25 percent during the show’s first-season run, which ended in January.
What has the show done right? A perpetual hashtag, for one, to “inspire tweeting and word-of-mouth,” says Sladden, who notes that 70 percent of Voice tweets include the handle #TheVoice, twice the industry average. Doing so at least doubles the amount of activity and could drive as many as 10 times the tweets. Sladden cites the numbers: 150,000 Voice-related tweets during the week ended June 7, putting the show just behind a rerun of Glee in terms of digital engagement. “For a freshman show with a new format, it’s great,” she says.
In addition, the show’s 10-person digital team oversees multiple Facebook accounts, NBC-housed blogs and scores of photos and clips submitted by the artists. “There are over 110 [Web] pages constantly being uploaded and, at one point, we were delivering 200 videos a week,” says Nicolle Yaron, a supervising producer on the show who’s also responsible for keeping Voice’s social media hub, the V Room, humming.
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