In a guest post for OJB, cross-posted from her blog, Franzi Baehrle reviews a new German TV show which operates across broadcast, web and mobile.
There’s a big experiment going on in German television. And I have to admit that I was slightly surprised that the rather conservative “Bayerischer Rundfunk” (BR, a public service broadcaster in Bavaria), would be the one to start it.
Blogger and journalist Richard Gutjahr was approached by BR to develop a format merging internet and TV. On Monday night the “Rundshow” was aired for the first time at 11pm German time, and will be running Mondays-Thursdays for the next four weeks.
Before going live on air, you could follow the team’s afternoon meeting in a live stream, and be part of it via Google+ hangout. You were informed about the show’s topic (“15M and success/fail of the occupy movement”) and the development of its research on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. And until the big day of the first show, you could also follow the preparations on those social networks and bring in your own ideas.
The team were explicitly asking for the audience’s opinion (and also at this stage invited them to hangouts). Moreover, they developed an app with which you can send comments, upload videos or pictures, respond to polls (the results then being included in the show) and rate the show live.
Obviously, the show wasn’t only broadcast on TV, but also via live stream on the web.
You could also join a hangout during the show, with participants included in the show and interviewed (as well as experts via Skype). Comments and tweets were also shown on screen.
The live stream started a few minutes before the show and also lasted longer than the TV broadcast.
A few minutes after the start, #rundshow was already the trending topic on Twitter Germany.
Did it work?
Bottom line: I really liked watching it. It was interesting to follow the discussion (even people from Spain and Greece joined the hangout and actually talked more than the German guys there), and the aired videos. A few of them explained the show itself, which was nice for the first episode, but I would have liked to see more topic-related content.
Moreover, the talks with the Google hangout group became even more interesting after the broadcast ended.
Some people were ranting about the show on Twitter. And yes, it wasn’t perfect. But it’s a huge experiment and no one can expect it to be perfect from the start (it would actually be odd if it was).
If it’s further developed and continued after those four weeks, it could become a milestone (if it isn’t already one).
I simply love the interactivity here: the audience is not an audience anymore, but a part of the show, even before it starts (Axel Bruns’ term “produser” would definitely fit here I think). You’re not just switching on the TV or clicking the play button in your browser, you can interact before, during and after the show, help to shape and develop it, share your opinion and content and even easily be on the show.
It’s great that Richard Gutjahr and his team took the step to develop a format like that, and I’m already looking forward to tonight’s episode.
The first night’s show can we watched here.