For the first time on U.S. television, viewers at home chose the winner of a live, televised singing competition, casting over 1 million votes, with the second-by-second results being revealed on TV in real-time. Participation TV specialists iPowow teamed with WJXT Channel 4 in Jacksonville, FL to enable the audience at home to dictate the final outcome of their July 4th singing competition, setting the bar for the future of interactive television for TV networks everywhere.
Post-Newsweek’s WJXT and iPowow surpassed the major networks Participation TV approach by premiering “Oh Say Can You Sing”, a singing competition where fan votes determined the fate of its contestants. The special event, held on the Fourth of July, featured the three contestants chosen out of 800 hopefuls to take part in the contest. During the broadcast, viewers voted a total of 1 million times during the 5-minute finale. For the audience, this was a riveting experience where they were able to ultimately decide the fate of their favorite singer by voting on their second screen device.
“We are very excited to be working with Post-Newsweek and WJXT, and thrilled to have been a part of this industry first,” says Gavin Douglas, iPowow, CCO. ”This is Participation TV at its finest; for the first time ever the audience had the final say, controlling the outcome of the show in real time. WJXT are in tune with what their viewers want, and by integrating the iPowow platform the audience at home become part of the story, enhancing the viewer experience and deepening their level of engagement. “
For Post-Newsweek and WJXT, this success is a turning point in the TV industry, with the emergence of a new brand of Participation TV that engages the viewers and places them firmly in the driver’s seat.
“At WJXT, we continue to look for ways to enhance our local brand,” says Bob Ellis, VP/General Manager, WJXT The Local Station. “With the help of iPowow, we know we’ve clearly found something that allows our viewers to participate in our local programming with a fun and easy to use mobile interface. It doesn’t get any more local.”
iPowow’s Participation TV platform is already being used by CNBC, ESPN’s SportsCenter, Fox Sports 1, Suits on USA Network, Pawn Stars on History and TV Networks in Europe and Australia. Post-Newsweek stations in San Antonio and Houston, Texas will launch their own Participation TV experience later this month.