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Rocking the Vote

The second screen trend continues to grow and enhance the way viewers watch and interact with their favorite TV shows. The second screen is a natural complement for viewers who use social media platforms and apps while watching TV, and now reality competition and award shows are encouraging the use of these tools as a way to keep viewers engaged through voting.

Reality competition TV shows have embraced apps and social media as a way to drive fan interaction and loyalty to a particular contestant. Last year, viewers of the “THE X FACTOR” used the XTRA Factor app’s Verizon Touch Voting to select the contestant they wanted to stay on the show, rather than having to text or call in votes. The app also provided users with exclusive content, including backstage footage, the ability to rate performances and on-demand videos.

The trend extends beyond reality competition shows. Last month, fans were able to vote for who they wanted to win the MTV Movie Awards’ “Best Hero” category through Instagram or Twitter. By typing a hashtag with the nominee’s name, fans cast their votes before and during the award show while connecting with other fans on the social media sites. After the votes were tallied, fans were able to see Bilbo, played by Martin Freeman, from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” take home the award.

The popularity of voting through social media has created a new genre of awards geared specifically to honoring social media sites. The Shorty Awards honor organizations and people who have created content solely for social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more. This year, people tweeted their nominations for various categories – from “Best Small Business in Social Media” to “Best Fake Account in Social Media” – and winners were honored during a ceremony this past April.

TV fans now have a voice to share their opinions and vote for their favorite entertainment personalities.