Sunday, May 25, 2014


Adam and Blake tweet furiously during The Voice Instant Save window.

Last season The Voice introduced the "Instant Save". During results episodes when the bottom three contestants are announced, Carson tells viewers that they have the last remaining minutes of the show to tweet to save their favorite artist. As long as they use the #VoiceSave hashtag with the name of their favorite contestant, their voite will be counted toward that artist.

Sidebar: The first thing I wondered when Carson first announced the Instant Save was what listening software they're using. Then I figured that they are probably working with Twitter directly to get such real-time and accurate results. Really, the window only lasts ten minutes and they announce the winner in the final seconds before the show ends. The lesson - Don't bother with a listening software for hashtag tracing and just get in bed with Twitter directly?

This makes me wonder if the economics of the show are shifting. When American Idol premiered many, many seasons ago they depended only on SMS and call-in votes, telco-driven transactions. Later on they expanded to online voting. When I started watching The Voice a few seasons I go I noticed that they include iTunes song downloads of the contestants' performances in voting counts.

Either way, what does the new Instant Save drive? Are they giving up millions in potential SMS revenue? Or are they telling us that consistent viewer engagement has a bigger value now? Something to think about.


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