ITV broadcast a special Covid-19 episode with journalist and money saving expert, Martin Lewis, to talk about financial management during the current pandemic. In a change to scheduled programming, ITV took the decision to broadcast the show – just 48 hours before it was due to be scheduled – to an empty studio in face of limitations on live events and large gatherings.
Part of ITV studios, production company MultiStory Media needed to bridge the gap between the viewers and host, Martin Lewis to engage conversation and respond to viewers’ current financial issues. Following the success of using Never.no’s audience engagement platform, Bee-On for ITV’s Peston, the Cloud-based social moderation engine was integrated into production workflow and setup to power the conversation of the one-off live programme.
Using #MartinLewis to create the conversation on Twitter, viewers tweeted questions and opinions in the hope to get covered over the 30-minute broadcast. Producers gathered the best of the viewers’ tweets and lined it up on the Bee-On timeline. Working with pre-made native broadcast graphics, the platform pushed the content, in real-time, to a large screen in the studio, where Martin Lewis and co-host Angellica Bell followed the conversation.
“The team at Never.no were so supportive in the fast turnaround nature of our production. Offering remote training sessions for our production teams and support throughout the whole process. The system worked without a glitch and the software assisted us in being able to successfully execute a central part of the programme,” said Anthony Chuck, production manager at MultiStory Media.
Based in London, Cardiff and Manchester, Multistory Media have delivered multi-award-winning current affairs, entertainment and documentaries, including Come Dine with Me, Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, 63UP and Death Row: Countdown to Execution.
Managed through a web browser, Bee-On’s full access to the Twitter API enabled the production manager to simply moderate all conversation directed at the show. Picking out the best content and most relevant questions, the team ensured that no rude or insulting content would slip through on air – an important requirement for a pre-watershed live show. With the potential for more live shows during the pandemic, there is also the possibility to set up auto-responses with engaged viewers to further the conversation beyond programming.
“ITV and MultiStory Media have worked with our platform on a range of projects. What made this different was the quick turnaround and fast-paced live programming from getting the greenlight to delivering live content that would create the most engagement with a concerned viewership. Social media is fast becoming the go-to platform to extend live and pre-recorded programming across traditional broadcast, digital and OTT,” commented Scott Davies, CEO Never.no.
During a time where live audiences and large groups are limited, Multi Story Media with ITV, created and broadcast a show where the audience is key to the narrative. By utilising social media and powered by Bee-On, a wider audience were able to engage even more than they would have in the studio. With a show billed and promoted just 48 hours before broadcast not only did the programming highlight major concerns with the public, but it engaged and offered valuable information during a major crisis.