Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the 86th Academy Awards! With a worldwide audience of nearly a billion viewers, this is no ordinary award show. The annual ceremony honouring the achievements in the film industry is definitely one of those events that everyone talks about. Oscar buzz has been growing for weeks, with discussions on who will win best actor or best picture, who will be best dressed and what will be the most memorable moments?
For the first time in Oscar history, ABC subscribers in the US were able to watch the award show streaming online from their computer, tablet or smartphone – marvelling over celebrity fashion, argue over Oscar wins and celebrate the year in film, all in real time. With the changing times of the way we view television and the development in technology, the Academy is altering its approach to the Oscars to meet the needs of its audience.
If you Googled ‘Oscars’ as it unfolded on the other side of the globe, you’d get up to date search results with the latest winners and links to live coverage, to the minute. There was no need to wait until the nightly news or tomorrow’s newspaper to find out the events of the night – viewers just had to jump on Twitter or Facebook to find out alongside millions of other viewers the second that 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture and Leo didn’t win Best Actor.
One of the biggest moments of the night was when host, Ellen DeGeneres, managed to break Twitter re-tweet records after taking a mega selfie crammed with Hollywood’s hottest stars at the Oscars. The celebrity shot gained 634,000 re-tweets in just half an hour and quickly surpassed over 1.2 million. When it was uploaded to Twitter, so many people logged on to check out the epic photograph, it overloaded its servers and brought the site down. A single photo crashed Twitter!
With this stunt, did Samsung pull off one of the biggest and boldest product placements of all time? The plot thickens though, when minutes after promoting Samsung on stage, Ellen returned to her iPhone taking photos and tweeting backstage.
On a more serious note though, with such a bright spotlight on the night, Venezuelan protesters and journalists took the opportunity to tweet leading Oscar nominees to ask them to mention the country when accepting their awards. “Oscars in #Venezuela are televised, repression isn’t. Celebrities can accomplish what our media can’t #SOSVenezuela,” tweeted the Venezuelan journalist Mariana Atencio.
How did you consume the Oscars this year? Were you constantly checking Twitter for the live updates or were you on a media blackout so you could watch the award show when you got home? Personally, I kept up to date online and am excited to watch the coverage on TV!
Laura Casey is a Media Coordinator at BCM