All you couch surfers, listen up! BuddyTV (www.buddy-tv.com) is a still-in-beta service that lets fans cheer and sneer online as they watch a show. It's aimed at multitaskers who tend to have the TV and computer on at the same time. Hosts, known as TVJs, manage forums and real-time chat sessions focused on specific shows or stars.
"TV hasn't changed in the last 60 years," says BuddyTV co-founder David Niu. "Moving forward [we'll see] tighter and tighter integration with the Web. This is another way fans of a show can get deeper and dirtier, find out more information, and create a virtuous cycle that leads to more interest in the show."
Fans rate TVJs, making it easy to identify the trendsetters who can fan the flames. Advertisers can brand the multimedia chat application, show a clickable 10-second spot before the chat launches, or host their own sessions.Says Niu, "This connection mechanism is happening in real time with other people, so it's a much more intimate connection."