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The UK’s Channel 4 was a pioneer among broadcasters when it embraced MySpace for the launch of its teen drama Skins. But financial constraints mean the firm can’t do all it wishes with social media, writes Jesse Whittock.

Social networks are becoming a key source of information on youth culture for television networks and are arguably taking over as the barometer of popular taste. Savvy broadcasters are wising up to this and the UK’s Channel 4 was one of the first.

In 2007, it chose MySpace as the platform to promote its then new youth-drama series Skins (above) and set up pages for each of the main characters. The strategy worked in a major way, garnering 1.3 million page views and 87% awareness of the show among MySpace users.

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