Final paper Trends and
A proposal for the question of BNN
Student number: 33681
“How can we use social media to enrich
our TV programs?”
Student Number: 336814
Trends and Strategies in the Creative Industries
Social media have become an important factor in attracting audiences and consumers.
Therefore it is no surprise that BNN asked how they can use social media to enrich their TV
programs. The creation of User Generated Content is the most important factor of Social
Media and should therefore be put to use. Commercial brands are creating new methods to
involve their target groups and thereby following McLuhans advice to involve the audience.
Co-creation is a very interesting way to involve the audience who are using social media.
Youths love to create and share content. And if their created content on a BNN community is
shown on BNN during a show, the viewer ratings, image and relationship between viewers
and BNN may rise enormously. With that the number of members of BNN could rise
sufficiently. The theory of this concept is that User Generated Content has more authority
on a broadcasted show on TV than on a social medium. Reaching a mass media at once is
still a USP that television has over the internet and it would be very wise to use this unique
ability. To research the usefulness of a co-created show, I propose to do a survey first where
the willingness of the audience to produce content for the show can be measured and the
framing of such shows can be determined. If this has a positive outcome with which BNN is
pleased, a test can be executed to measure the effects of a co-created TV show.
Literature review 2
How BNN could implement Social Media, a theoretical 2
What does BNN do at this moment in relation to 3
What are other stations doing? 3
Integration of social media and television, a
Interaction; the solution lies in co-creation
First answer to the question of BNN 6
Proposal for empirical research 8
Financial proposal 8
Short critical reflection 11
Hyves, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube who has not heard of these social media? Over 9 million
Dutchmen have a Hyves account and over 350 million people worldwide are on Facebook.
This last number is growing with an astounding 5 million users per week. (Buurman, 2010) It
is no wonder that Pepsi announced that it is stopping its’ television advertising during the
American Super Bowl, but starting a new social media campaign. (ITcommercie, 2010)
Imagine that you have a TV show in Holland that has a viewer rating that is equal to the
amount of users of a social media site. This would be unprecedented. But not only the
ratings are important when you think of a TV show, also the image of a TV show is of great
importance. Especially when youths are a television shows’ target group it is imperative to
adjust the shows presentation to the trends of today. And youths are using social media
excessively, let there be no mistake. In the United States in 2007, 96% of online tweens and
teens have reported using social networking technologies, while 71% connect weekly (Van
den Broek, 2007).
This is why some television programs for youths have been altered in the last 5 years or so
because they are used to producing content. TMF for example has drastically changed their
format in the last 5 years or so. Their hosts and guests of their talk shows often make use of
laptops to interact with the audience. Even while music videos are playing, their so called
VJ’s interact with the audience on screen via chat programs. Now also BNN has announced
that it wants to enrich their shows by using social media. In this paper I will first analyze the
problem, then I will give a conclusion of this analysis and finally I will offer a research
proposal with which the problem can be solved.
Statement of the problem
How can BNN use social media to enrich the TV-programs they broadcast?
How BNN could implement Social Media, a theoretical framework
The definition of Social Media is according to Kaplan and Haenlein: ‘a group of Internet-
based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web 2.0,
and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content’ (Slideshare, 2009).
User Generated Content is as the definition implies, the main reason why Social Media
exists. Fittingly, the number one service Web 2.0. provides us is sharing photos and videos
(Slot & Frissen, 2007). Social media has two effects according to Benkler. The first effect is
that social networks have helped to reshape and improve our relationships with family and
friends. Secondly, new sorts of relationships are rising that have different goals because of
social networks (Benkler, 2006). Because of social psychology people have the incentive to
share content without expecting anything in return, other than social acceptance. “Social
production is a real fact, not a fad. It is the critical long term shift caused by the internet.
Social relations and exchange become significantly more important than they ever were as
an economic phenomenon” (TED, 2005).
Because creating and sharing can be seen as the main value of Social Media, it is therefore
logical that BNN lets their audience create and share things that has something to do with
their shows. And because BNN wants to enrich their shows and not only communicate with
their audience, it is important that BNN let their audience create something that adds
something considerably to their shows. Before I will propose how BNN should implement
social media, I will first make a short analysis of how BNN and other television stations are
using Social Media at this moment.
What does BNN do at this moment in relation to social media?
BNN makes a lot of use of social media on their own website, with displaying many videos on
which the audience can react. They also have a website with an overview of many BNN
communities on which people can do almost the same things as on Hyves. Most of the
communities are related to a show or one of the presenters of BNN. In their shows on TV
they sometimes try to interact with social media followers but this does not have a real
added value for their shows.
What are other stations doing?
One of the other youth stations in Holland is TMF, which mostly shows music videos but they
also show a lot of youth programs just like BNN. Their hosts and guests of their talk shows
often make use of laptops to interact with the audience. This means that the audience who
are on social media can be a part of the show, which is really great. And during music videos
the presenters of TMF chat on screen with the audience. I think this is a real enrichment to
their music videos.
In the United States some television stations have recently been experimenting with
integrating television with social media. Fox for example has started with broadcasting
‘Tweet-peats’ which means that the station is showing live tweets during an episode of a
soap-opera. Also BBC-viewers were given the opportunity on its website to select what
character they want to leave the show at the end of each episode. Furthermore, BBC’s
Strictly Come Dancing series gained more interaction with its viewing audience with the help
of the “Strictly Social” application. With posting ‘wow’, ‘boo’ or ‘gasp’ on the program’s
website, their opinions will be displayed in the live broadcasting of the show. "As far as we're
concerned now, social media is part of what people do every day and social viewing is part of
our wider strategy for entertainment," says Jo Twist, BBC multi-platform commissioner
(Callari, 2009). So, is TV integrating with social media and can this be a solution to BNN’s
Integration of social media and television, a possibility?
There is a lot of literature available about Social TV and how the future of television is
depicted as one of an integration between television and social media (Gross, Fetter, & Paul-
Stueve, 2008). First I want to discuss that if this technology will arise, it will take a very long
time before it is implemented and therefore it will not arise in the near future. Because of
this it is not yet important to the near future plans of BNN and their plans to enrich their TV
shows. Secondly I want to discuss that this future perspective may not be a valid one if you
look at the basic meaning of television to people.
It would of course be great if (interactive) television in the future will be integrated with
social media. In this way there does not have to be a transition from audiences behind the
computer and audiences behind the television. But I think a future wherein (interactive)
television is integrated with social media, will not come anytime soon and will not come
sudden. I think this change is a gradual process, or as Croteau and Hoynes put it: “Change
will be evolutionary, not revolutionary” (Croteau & Hoynes, 2003, p. 322). New media are
not only defined by technological advances, they are defined by society as a whole, with
technological advances on the one hand and social psychology and economics on the other
hand. Radio for example was not made to listen passively, but as an improvement or
replacement of the telegraph. The combination of economic possibilities, controlling rules by
the government and audiences’ acceptance of radio has selected how the new technological
possibilities of the radio were used. As Lister et al put it: “new media are not born in a
vacuum and, as media, would have no resources to draw upon if they were not in touch and
negotiating with the long traditions of process, purpose, and signification that older media
possess” (Lister, Dovey, Giddings, Grant, & Kelly, 2009, p. 48). Thus I expect a radical future
with social media integrations will not happen suddenly and is not of immediate importance
Secondly, the integration between television and social media may even never come.
Television is a passive medium and is integrated in society as such. Research has early on
showed that there are two kinds of motivation to use television: for time consuming
entertainment and information seeking (Rubin, 1983). This does not mean that people do
not have the incentive to post a message about a TV show, but not on TV itself I think. Look
for example at the experimentation of Fox, which showed ‘Tweed-Peats’ during a show. This
led to many complaints from the audience. It seemed to distract them from the
entertainment of the show (Callari, 2009).
Thus I think BNN must not look at any integration between social media and television (for
now), but they should use the communities they have to enrich their content on the
television shows themselves.
Interaction; the solution lies in co-creation
“What the entertainment business is having problems with; the commercial brands are
figuring out.” Says Peter Hirschberg during his presentation for TED (TED, 2007). I agree with
him on this point. Commercial brands are finding new ways of interactive communication
between their brands and consumers. Instead of bombarding consumers with advertising,
brands are implementing more individual communication and trying to attract people
through new ways such as experience marketing. Hirschberg gives the example of how Nike
Plus is connecting consumers to the brand. With Nike Plus you can send data of your running
exercise to Nike, who analyzes it for you. At the Nike website you can also set goals, join
challenges and connect with friends in the Nike Plus community (Nike). Although this is a
good example, I think there is another great example when looking at Nike. A few years ago
Nike has started a new way of making shoes: letting people create their shoes themselves!
This is a real innovative way of co-creation. Because of this, people are coming to Nike so
they do not have to go to them. Marshal McLuhan did not advise us for nothing to get
involved with the audience. People like to be heard, like to create things and like to share
In relation to TV; people do not only want to watch TV shows anymore but they want to
participate and want to create their own content. Proof of this lies in the existence and
excessive use of social media sites like Youtube, Joost, Seesmic, MeonTV (Bloem, Van Doorn,
& Duivestein, 2008) and many others where people can create their own ‘shows’ and share
it with others. “Content is moving from shows to particals moving back and forward as a part
of social communications” says Hirschberg (TED, 2007). Broadcasters should use this new
flow of information and use their show as a centre where everything connects. Next I will
form a first answer to the question of BNN in relation to the theoretical framework I have
First answer to the question of BNN
At the moment BNN uses social media like Hyves and Twitter to communicate with their
audience. But if they really want social media to enrich their programs, they have to
combine their programs more with social media. I propose a form of co-creation, because I
think this is the way to create a new dimension of entertainment that could fit with social
media. For example BNN already uses some form of co-creation with their show: `Oh my
god’; people can upload their own movies which in they have to say the words: “Oh my god’
in the most elaborate ways, and the best movies will be used in an episode on the air.
BNN could for example ask their audience to vote on social media which has an outcome on
the show. To give a more concrete example BNN could ask the audience on social media
which presenter in Try before you die should do which task instead of doing it randomly.
They could also ask them to vote on which subjects should be discussed in Spuiten en
Slikken. This is a very simple form of co-creation. But this concept can also lead to a more
elaborate use. For example every week BNN chooses one lucky audience member on their
own social media communities who will be as a virtual guest on one of the talk shows. use
their own communities on the internet where. Or every week BNN lets people upload their
own movies and creates a show out of this. These are just a few examples of the co-creation
concept. This concept may have a few advantages that will up the viewer ratings of the
shows and let people be more connected to BNN which may lead to more members, which is
also very important.
When people know that they might be in the show, they may be more motivated to join the
social media of BNN and have more fun at creating their own content. And thereby they may
be more motivated to watch the show when it is first broadcasted. Because people want to
see the reactions on social media as soon as possible if they see that their created content
has been aired on national TV, which is still a big deal. National TV still gets more authority
then the User Generated Content that people can see on Youtube for example. This co-
creation concept therefore makes use of the unique selling position of television: reaching a
mass audience at once. This may be the only USP TV has, that internet does not have.
Because BNN´s core business is television and they want to attract as much viewers as
possible, it is very important to use the strength of the medium. Another advantage may be
that all the co-creations that are made on BNN controlled social media, can be used in the TV
shows, which can make producing content a lot cheaper for BNN. Negative points may be
that the surprise is ruined for viewers that via social media might know what is coming. It
may also be a lot of work to search for User Generated Content that is adequate for airing.
But I think the prospects of this idea weigh out the possible negative points.
So: how can BNN use social media to enrich the TV-programs they broadcast?
Answer: Let people themselves enrich the TV programs
Proposal for further empirical research
The main questions that should be further researched are:
1. Are BNN supporters on social media willing to create content for a show of BNN?
2. Will the use of User Generated Content in a show increase the viewer ratings and
image of BNN?
For the first question, I propose to do a survey on the communities that are controlled by
BNN. I choose the people on the communities as the research group because they are often
the audience of the shows of BNN and they are the users of social media. And also they are
most willing to fill in the surveys because it means that BNN in the near future will increase
the possibilities on social media. Therefore the non-compliant rate can be very low. Creating
a survey on the internet is also very cheap and less time consuming to execute. We will
assume that the survey itself will take a weeks’ time.
If the surveys show a positive a attitude, than the second question must be answered. I
propose a test that shows the effects of a co-created TV show. BNN then announces it will
show created content on the show and delivers the tools on social media (recording
themselves, uploading photos and videos etcetera) and during this process, the effects on
the participation on social media, the viewer ratings and the image of BNN will be measured.
How this co-created show must be filled in, will be discussed with BNN. We will assume that
the test itself will take a weeks’ time.
To carry out the surveys on the internet, our company will provide for the creation of the
survey, the online tools and installation of these tools, the maintenance of the survey, the
analysis of the results and the reporting of the conclusion. For this we will have to take 5
weeks which comes to a total of 200 hours. Our rate per hour is €20,-.
Costs of the survey
Action Hours Costs
Creating Survey 40 €800,-
Online installation 40 €800,-
Maintenance of the survey 40 €800,-
Analyzing the results 40 €800,-
Reporting the survey 40 €800,-
Total 200 €4000,-
To carry out the test, our company will provide the tools that people can use to create their
own content on social media and we will measure the effects of the test. BNN must naturally
provide for the creation of the show.
Costs of the test
Action Hours Costs
Creating online tools 120 €2400,-
Maintenance of online tools 40 €800,-
Measuring the effects of the 40 €800,-
Total 200 €4000,-
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Yale University Press.
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TED. (2007). Opgehaald van Peter Hirshberg_on_tv_and_the_web:
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alle jongeren actief op sociale netwerken’:
Short critical reflection
The thing I found hardest of all was getting on the way. I have read and written a lot of
things about social media but to suddenly write a final proposal was much harder than I
anticipated. It took me a few full days to write the first outline of this proposal which had
driven me crazy. But once I got started properly I think I got the hang of it and I think that I
did a good job.
I found it also very hard to read and implement some of the literature, especially the books
of Benkler and Lister et al. I often think more hands on and already have the solution in my
mind. And when some theorists delve too deep in the material it is very hard to implement
the reading in a concrete proposal. I often think that these theorists sometimes forget that
they are on planet earth. Do not get me wrong, I find most of the theories very interesting
and I tried very hard to understand it all, but it was just sometimes very hard to relate the
theoretical material to the assignments. The books of Lister and Benkler did not give me
something to hold on to. This is why I sometimes fell back to the academic literature that I
already read, such as ‘Media Society’ or ‘Me the Media’. I also found some interesting
articles, some academic, some factual. I also used a few TED presentations as a source.
These I find very interesting. The presentation of Benkler on TED was more clear to me than
the whole of the book.
One thing I am not sure of is my empirical and financial proposal. I just thought about it as
logical as possible. I could not find a great example of research costs that were fitting to my
case, so I just thought about how long such researches would take and how much I would
charge for it. I hope I did a good job.
One thing I enjoyed making is the Pecha Kucha style presentation for the pitch. I like the fact
that I had to find some illustrations that add something to what I want to say. I think I did a
good job, but I hope that I do not have to give a presention because this is a weak point of
mine. I already presented our last Pecha Kucha style presentation and although everyone
said I was really good I think it is enough of my presenting for this module.
Alright, this leaves me only with thanking Matthijs Leendertse for his very interesting
lessons. And I am not just saying this. The only recommendations I have is that the
mandatory literature is replaced with some more readable books and that the students are
given MacBooks to use, as my old laptop failed with me a lot during this course. ;)