True Blood’s Popularity on the Web and TV Go Hand in Hand

March 25, 2010 by  

The Internet has become a companion to television, rather than killing it off like industry experts feared, according to a Financial Post article.

Blogs and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have enhanced the viewing experience by allowing people to participate in forums and live chats while tuning into their favorite shows.

The Internet, television and radio are all part of one media mix, said digital expert Dré Labre, creative director at advertising agency Rethink Toronto.

“The Internet is not going to kill television. They also said radio was dead with the advent of television, and we can all see that it didn’t die, it just became another part of the media mix.”

Interest in prime time shows, such as “Glee,” “Heroes,” “Lost,” “Mad Men” and our own “True Blood” and live event shows like the Oscars and the Super Bowl has been fueled by viewers ability to participate. Just ask Michelle Dupuis of Toronto, who watched the Oscars in the company of her laptop, following Entertainment Weekly‘s live blog and friends’ and celebrities comments on Twitter.

“The Academy Awards this year were boring. The only thing that made it interesting was Twitter.”

The number of people watching TV while surfing online increased 35 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 over the same period just three months earlier, according to a report by Nielsen Co. Award shows telecasts also saw a boost. The Oscars drew 41.3 million viewers, its largest audience since 2005, and more than 13 percent of Oscar viewers simultaneously spent time on the Web. The Grammy Awards were up 35 percent, the Golden Globes were up 14.3 percent, and the People’s Choice Awards were up 15 percent. Super Bowl XLIV also set a record as the most-watched Super Bowl to date, with 51.7-million households. It topped the series finale of M*A*S*H, which had 50.2-million households in 1983.

Nearly 60 percent of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while watching television, media product leader Matt O’Grady said in the report.

“The initial fear was that Internet and mobile video and entertainment would slowly cannibalize traditional TV viewing, but the steady trend of increased TV viewership alongside expanded simultaneous usage argues something quite different.”

How does “True Blood” factor into all of this? Nikki Stafford, writer of the Finding Lost series and several other TV viewer guides, said HBO uses Twitter to interact with viewers who have created online personas for their favorite characters. These viewers help disseminate trivia and teaser clips, especially now that Season 3 is approaching. Fan interest online translates to more press and blog coverage, helping to boost ratings. Season 2‘s live finale was watched by 5.1 million viewers, she said.

“(HBO) really jumped into the viral marketing and took advantage of the fan community out there online.”

Dré Labre said the ritual of watching TV is something that will remain constant, but TVs as we know them will likely change to include more computer-like features.

“I think people like to come home and sit on the couch and watch TV, and I don’t think that is going to change. The business model behind TV is going to change. TVs are going to have hard drives in them, built-in PVRs (and) will evolve as a piece of hardware evolves . . .but the reality is, that it still going to be the centerpiece of our couches.”

We can see for ourselves the growing popularity of True Blood on Facebook and on Twitter as the official True Blood Facebook Fan Page has already reached over the 1.2 million mark, @TrueBloodHBO has almost 61,000 followers and our own @truebloodnet Twitter account, where we post the latest True Blood news and tidbits, reaches over 33,000 Twitter users daily.

SOURCE: Financial Post

(Photo credit: Paley Center for Media)

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  • JANE

    ANOTHER MEDIA FORM THAT IS FUN, AND CALMS THE WITHDRAWAL DURING OFF SEASON IS MUSIC VIDEOS MADE BY TRUE BLOOD FANS. THEY HAVE GOOD MUSIC, AND CLIPS FROM THE SHOW. MANY OF THEM ARE VERY GOOD, AND I WATCH THEM A LOT. THAT’S HOW I INTRODUCED MY FRIEND TO THE BEAUTIFUL VAMPIRES. JUST TOOK MY LAPTOP OVER, AND WE LISTENED TO MUSIC, AND WATCHED THE VAMPS. SHE IS NOW LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE SHOW.

  • Antonio

    Just a thought here…
    Wouldn’t it be cool if Team TB had its own “cheerleaders”?
    Picture it: cheerleaders with pom-poms shouting enthusiastically :: Compton,Compton He’s our man! If he can’t do it…We’ll call Sam!! LOL
    I’m sure that the “cheerleaders” would be all to happy to back either 1 of these guys! 🙂

  • pbt

    I would agree that the internet has not hurt the TV industry in the least. As far True Blood is concerned it has done nothing but help the show. Long after the Season Two finale, avid viewers of the show are still talking, analyzing, speculating about the upcoming season. This type of buzz around the show does nothing but help.

    With such a long hiatus between Seasons, blogs, websites, Twitter posts and Facebook accounts are a great way to link with other fans of the show. It keeps the buzz alive. HBO should be pleased that there are so many great quality site out there for the fans to visit, chat and catch up on the latest True Blood news.

    80 days until Season Three premieres on June 13th. Let the v-ddiction continue!

    • Antonio

      Hey Pbt Nice to see you again! I’ve missed your countdown to the season premiere. I can hardly believe it..We are getting closer,Wow! The Only thing though is that by the time the season premiere Does air on HBO, It will mean that the season has wrapped and hopefully there will be promos and buzz about S3!
      Of course, the cast and crew will get a break~~~They deserve it,Too They work So hard to bring us good episodes and storylines! Then I suppose its back to square 1 for Season 4 and yet Another long wait…Soomething to think about huh?
      I can remember waiting about a year and a half for a new season of the Sopranos…Much TOO Long!! GO Team True Blood All The Way!!

      • pbt

        Yes, we are down to 77 more days til the craziness continues. And you know its gonna be crazy for sure. Can’t wait to see what AB has in store for all of us.

        From all the teasers we are getting lately, plenty of new characters and plot lines. It all means we are just one step closer to Club Dead, Russell’s mansion and Season 4: Dead to the World. My all time favorite for sure!

        Yes, they are half way through filming season three. Wohooo for them. Can’t wait to see the mini clips this Sunday night after the re-airing of Season 2 Episode 2. Wohooooo!

  • MarleneEmmett

    Antonio:
    Hope you know what HBO went and did concerning it’s message
    boards? They trashed their old boards where fans of TrueBlood
    had followed the show since before it’s beginning in 2008.

    They scraped the boards~Seems they don’t want discussions about
    the show to go on~Many of the old posters had hours of talk time
    discussing the show and the characters.
    You can’t see their new boards~Which HBO calls “new and Improved”

    new and improved my butt~They’re a mess.
    The old boards were easier to see and easier to handel.
    Check them out~You’ll see what I mean.

    I’ve written letters to HBO Consumer Affairs and I’ve made
    numerous phone calls complaining to them.
    I’ve also warned them that they’re going to be sorry ratings wise
    when Season 3 debuts on June 13th and their rating are in the
    perverbial basement due to the fact the fans were
    “thrown under the bus”~I’ve heard of people who’ve gone and
    cancelled their HBO subscriptions due to this.

    Many of the former posters of HBO’s Member Created boards
    have gone over to another website that is “TrueBlood Related”.

  • Antonio

    I would agree. Years ago,This simply was Not an option for avid fans of Tv programs and films. Before the internet,If you wanted information about a favorite show, You had to A.Look in the “Entertainment” section of a newspaper B. Buy several entertainment magazines~~which could have been pricey C. Look for info in a television guide D. Try writing directly to the studio in hollywood that produced the show~~~Good luck with That 1! Back then,Your options were limited. Today,Things are quite different! There are countless blog and fansites! There are Many ways to maintain contact with other fans and viewers of a given show,tv program,film or event like the Olympics per say.
    Case in point, After the Oscars were finished,At the official Oscar website there were blogs and chats and posts going on into the wee hours! Everyone had an opinion to express about it.
    I think its because shows like True Blood are so immensely popular with fans,That they seek out other fans and “net communities” online! Websites like this one are constantly being visited by TB fans,As I’m sure that Twilight websites are also bombarded with avid fans of the series! People want to know the latest buzz on their favorite programs,films events and such. Its a different world,Today 🙂