Credit: Michael Becker / FOX

Want to add your two cents in real time on season 12 of American Idol 2013? Now is your chance! #COOL! Understanding that most folks these days watch the show with an iPad on their lap, the powers that be behind the Idol machine decided to incorporate this into the viewing experience.
 
Starting on tonight’s show, the American Idol Twitter will take instant polls of the audience. You’ll see graphics onscreen with questions like, “Do you agree with the American Idol judges tonight?” and two hashtags with differing answers. If you want to partake and have a Twitter account, you can post a comment with one of the two hashtags (which will be displayed on screen during the show), and the graphic will update with the results almost instantaneously. #NEATO!

As the article on New York Times points out, the “fan meter” is “another way to excite viewers -- particularly those who watch live and who tend to be the most valuable to Fox and its advertisers.” It’s designed with to enhance the live viewing experience. As the president for digital for Fox Broadcasting David Wertheimer said, “The best possible experience is when you watch it live.”

The show plans to incorporate the fan meter even more once the shows go live in March. It will air in all four time zones, which will also give those at Fox more of an understanding of which time zone prefers what American Idol judge, hopeful, etc.

The main reason, however, is to entice the younger viewers, who are the “sweet spot” when it comes to advertisers. The audience for American Idol has been aging. When the show started, the median age of viewers was 32 but, this season so far, it has been 45.

 

The show is still huge with the younger folk, only behind Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, but Fox would certainly like to see the numbers rise. And when you do the math, viewers + Twitter = success with the young (or at least that’s what Fox is hoping). Some do find graphics onscreen distracting, so it will certainly be an interesting experiment to be sure.

Will you join in using the fan meter? Tell us what you think!

Source: New York Times