Archive | April, 2013

SportsCenter’s utilization of social media

23 Apr
SportsCenter Twitter

A screen shot of SportsCenter’s Twitter Account, taken at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

With the ever-increasing role of social media in today’s society, premiere media outlets are using the new medium as a way to communicate with other users. By linking to content, as well as encouraging conversation, these media outlets maintain relationships with their audiences. What is the most effective way to do so, however?

Twitter has come on strong in the past decade, and media outlets everywhere are discovering how to utilize it effectively.

SportsCenter. a show on ESPN, does a great job finding a happy medium between content and conversation by using Twitter. It has 5,074,524 followers, and that number will only continue to grow. SportsCenter tweets breaking news, game updates, quotes, statistics, etc., and its tweets often include either a hashtag of the latest sports trend or a Twitter handle of a prominent person or organization in sports, making it easier for users to keep up with sports news.

In addition, SportsCenter retweets perspectives and content from its reporters and analysts who also have Twitter accounts, such as NFL analyst Adam Schefter and College Gameday’s Chris Fowler. In doing so, users who follow SportsCenter have easy access to other media members, allowing them to read their content and follow their Twitter feeds as well.

SportsCenter’s Twitter feed is especially helpful by encouraging conversation with its viewers. For example, one of SportsCenter’s tweets reads, “OK, now who’s the best No. 1 overall QB draft pick of all time? Use #TopQBPick to answer; YOUR tweets could air & help rank our Top 5.” To go along with this tweet, SportsCenter has another that asks about the worst quarterback drafted No. 1 overall. After tweeting interactive questions, SportsCenter’s Twitter feed explodes with responses by fans across the country who are hoping for their tweets to be televised.

This is a genius idea regarding the optimization of social media use. It increases the interaction between the every day fan and the big-time media giant. I have had one of my tweets aired on SportsCenter and answered by NFL analyst John Clayton.

“Still nothing from the #Packers in free agency. Will they manage to sign Steven Jackson and/or Greg Jennings? #FanForum”

The anchor mentioned me by name, too. It was a surreal experience. That’s the reason why many SportsCenter followers engage in those opportunities. The thought of having a tweet aired on national television is significant to the average fan.

Perhaps the most-viewed portion of SportsCenter is its Top 10 Plays segment. It uses Twitter to ask fans what they think should be the top play of the day.

Clearly, it is SportsCenter’s goal to use Twitter to increase interaction with fans and lead more people to watch the show on a daily basis. It is an essential aspect of SportsCenter’s strategy, because increased viewership means increased revenue. Overall, SportsCenter is doing a great job accomplishing its goals.

SportsCenter was already a massive media outlet prior to the coming of social media and the digital age. That being said, it will thrive even more if it continues to utilize social media to interact with reporters, players, organizations, and most importantly, sports fans everywhere.

Which media outlet do you believe encompasses the proper use of social media?


Monetization of media: news as a commodity and a public right

6 Apr

Is news a commodity? Is it a public right? Or is it both? One thing is for certain: the monetization of digital news is becoming more prevalent every day.

In Matthew Ingram’s article, “The monetization dilemma for media: Paywalls on one side, advertising on the other,” he discusses the ever-increasing search for an effective method to generate revenue in the online market. He mentions that the Washington Post will release a paywall of its own sometime this year.

“It’s a dilemma that almost every media entity, large or small — both digital and non-digital — is struggling with, as advertising continues to decline and no new source of revenue has emerged to take its place,” Ingram writes.

As revenue becomes more of a focal point for news outlets, news distances itself from being simply a public right.

In his article, “News as a Commodity,” Terry Heaton argues that media is becoming more of a commodity.

“The point is that media itself is being commoditized and, along with it, the content it provides,” Heaton says. “This is a key fruit of the personal media revolution, and already the economics of media are shifting in response. No longer can news content alone carry the burden of supporting the specialized infrastructures and distribution models of media of the past. No longer is “news” sufficient to justify subscriber fees or high dollar ad models, because consumers are increasingly deciding that it’s all the same.”

He mentions how last year CNN dropped its pay-per-view service in favor of an ad-supported model because it was not producing the amount of revenue CNN had hoped for.

In “Is Media Becoming a Commodity,” Mike Sweeney supports the premise that news is becoming more of a commodity. He uses the beliefs of others to further enforce this idea.

“The buying business has become much more commoditized,” [Michael Roth] emphasized, “and when you’re dealing with any commodity, the key component of that is are you getting the better price. If there’s a competitor out there that can provide a better price, then quite frankly, we don’t get the business.”

Roth is the Chairman/CEO of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

There is a transition taking place; one that is revoking news as a public right and turning it into a commodity.

A commodity is something that can be bought or sold. In this case, ad space is being purchased by advertisers, while it is being sold by online news sites. News is a public right as well. It is important for the public to educate itself about current events. People deserve to know what is happening in the world, but due to the inability for online news outlets to generate significant revenue, news is becoming more of a paid commodity than it has ever been before. Nowadays, it is hard to find news without having to subscribe or pay for content.

News is still, in fact, a public right. However, it is becoming more of a commodity because of recent monetary difficulties.

What do you think is the role of the news?