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On Sunday night when you fire up the 83rd edition of Academy Awards, odds are you won’t be watching it alone – even if you are by yourself.

Anyone who signed in to Facebook or Twitter during The Grammy’s last week will gladly testify on how flooded their feeds were in regard to the evening’s ceremony.  Viewers can now sit alone on their couch, without pants, feeling connected to millions.  They can voice their opinions in real time, and be heard around the planet.  It’s actually quite nice, though slightly annoying at times.   I found myself hiding a number of friends whose opinions and statuses were upsetting to me.  Don’t be mad.

According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, The Academy is specifically interested in appealing to a younger demographic this year.  Naturally, they’re relying on social media to play a role in this, but they’ve also employed younger hosts (Anne Hathaway is 28, James Franco is 32) than in previous years.  They’re hoping to go even further with the addition of interactive apps to coincide with the program.

-The Oscar Backstage Pass ($1 for iPhone and iPad) offers viewers 8 different camera angles during the show itself.  It will also offer Red Carpet and backstage access, along with coverage after the ceremony has concluded.

-E!’s Live From The Red Carpet (free for Android and Apple products) is the most interactive of the products, allowing customers to vote on their choice for Oscar winner, and see poll results.  The product, however, does not remain covering the event once the curtain is drawn.  It’s coverage begins once the show has concluded.

-Another attempt to engage viewers is the Obsessed With Hollywood APP ($1.99 for iPhone and iPad).  This allows users to test their movie knowledge.

The big question is, will people use these apps, and how well will they work?  Will they engage younger audiences?  Sunday’s Oscars will certainly serve as a great opportunity to better understand the future of the app for live events.  In many ways, we might consider this a test run.   Nonetheless, we will all tune in, connect, and share our thoughts.  A far cry from the Oscars of years past.

-JRG 2.24.11

 

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