Zee TV LogoZee TV has created parallel online content to promote its latest prime time show, Connected Hum Tum hosted by Abhay Deol before its premiere on television, using social media to promote the show. After initial daily teasers on Facebook and Twitter, a video featuring Abhay Deol was launched on YouTube and other video platforms along with its on-air launch. Zee TV also organized an exclusive preview of the show for bloggers followed by an interaction with the six women who will be participants in the show.

Not that this hasn’t been done before – the Dewarists was a show on STAR World that did something similar a couple of years ago, but it’s one thing for a youth focused English channel to do it, and quite another for a Hindi GEC to try out.

Zee TV is planning live chats with Deol on Twitter, Google hangouts with the participants, live tweeting during the telecast of an episode with an on-air twitter feed to drive increased viewer interactivity and participation. The channel also claims to be creating a YouTube gadget to provide Connected Hum Tum content such as episodes, uncut videos, a discussion forum on the themes of daily episodes and video biographies of the six protagonists for their audiences, online.

Television’s Shifting Focus To Digital

Television’s focus has been increasingly shifting towards digital to market shows. Last week, Colors TV had also tweeted the YouTube link to the preview of their dance show, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa season 6. In fact, even MTV had recently launched season 2 of its digital travel show, Drive With MTV which also heavily depends on social media for its audience interaction, engagement and also content generation.

Disney UTV’s Bindass also offers a Facebook app called Bindass Facebook Jukebox that allows Facebook users to vote and dedicate songs to their friends on TV, which is then played on Bindass at a specific time, along with a real time feed of Facebook comments alongside the song. Several channels like MTV, Times Now and SET Max (during IPL 6) have started featuring tweets on their television channels.

Digital media technology company, BrizzTV had also recently announced its plans to include live social conversations about specific shows on TV, however no specifics were disclosed. Clearly, television channels and digital media companies are looking to integrate more social to television which is presently an one-way medium. We believe that apart from capturing younger audiences, channels are going forward with digital integration foreseeing the likely penetration of smart televisions in Indian households.