1

All Oscars all the time

An advertisement for the Oscars is displayed before the famous Hollywood sign 23 January 2007 in Hollywood, California.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: More tablets next year is not soon enough for the producers of this year's Oscars. They're all about iPads and smartphones and live streaming for the broadcast Sunday night. Marketplace's Stacey Vanek Smith has more on Oscar 2.0.


Stacey Vanek Smith: Oscar dresses? Oscar favorites? Oscar parties? There's an app for that.

Mark Stagi is the co-founder of AppEzzy, creator of the Oscar Awards Hero iPhone app.

Mark Stagi: People can create an Oscar pool with their friends and kind of see who can get the best number of picks right.

So far 10,000 people have bought the app. That kind of social media is creating more interest in events like the Oscars for viewers and advertisers, says Brad Adgate with Horizon Media.

Brad Adgate: The amazing thing is it's really helping traditional media like television. It's really given it a spike.

In 2008, Oscar viewership hit an all-time low. But with the help of Twitter, Facebook and apps, viewership has climbed 30 percent since then. The Grammy's just saw its highest ratings in a decade, and Super Bowl viewership set an all-time record.

Author and New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean spent the morning tweeting about her new Oscar app.

Susan Orlean: It's like a 24-hour-a-day run-up to the Oscars. It promises all those extra camera angles on the red carpet that you might miss.

Orlean says social media makes televised events more exciting to watch.

Orlean: Something like the State of the Union or the Oscars, it's an event and if you aren't actually sitting with a large group of people but you can kind of interact online with other people watching -- that's the whole point, it's a spectator sport.

The market is growing. At the end of this year, it's estimated more than half of all Americans will have a smartphone. And the tablet wars are just beginning.

In New York, I'm Stacey Vanek Smith for Marketplace.


Ryssdal: We've got Oscar by the numbers, Academy Award facts and figures.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.
Log in to post1 Comment

Here's a novel idea: if you want to watch the Oscars with other people, try watching the Oscars with other people. The "social app" is just a poor man's substitute for genuine human interaction, but its growing popularity may speak volumes more about where we are headed.

With Generous Support From...