The #nowwithwings phenomenon

There has been something of a battle going on across the airwaves on Uk tv tonight. On the one hand there has been the UK version of ‘The Voice‘ – claiming to be a higher end talent contest on account of its concentration of sound rather than looks. On the other there has been the return of a staple – Britain’s Got Talent, with its usual cavalcade of the bizarre, the untalented, and the remarkable. I’m not quite sure which Dennis Egel (pictured below) constitutes.

However, the significant thing about Egel’s act was that during it the producers flashed the hashtag #’nowwithwings’ across the screen. For some time, programme makers have created hashtags to encourage interaction with the programme overall. However, creating a specific hashtag within the programme is a new development. Does it maybe signal that programme-makers are courting the use of the second screen rather than simply tolerating it? Could it be that the small screen needs the smaller screen as never before – and maybe especially when similar programmes are vying for audience share? Few would argue that either of these two programmes are truly great television, but is this bid for interaction an attempt to elevate them to a different kind of viewing where interaction matters more than content?

When I mooted last year that second screen interaction might be appropriate during preaching it provoked a veritable storm of comment. I wonder what people think about this development in viewing?