My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Social Media backlash over Television Jamaica's decision to buy rights to NBC's The Voice - Power of the Middle Classes wielding Apple iPhones as FLOW AI is watching you

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Social Media backlash over Television Jamaica's decision to buy rights to NBC's The Voice - Power of the Middle Classes wielding Apple iPhones as FLOW AI is watching you

“Hi Tweeps. Heard all your comments, nothing is being ignored. There will be a fix to suit everyone. Announcement to come”

Tweet by General Manager of Television Jamaica, Claire Grant on Tuesday October 8th 2013, assuring viewer that a fix for “The Voice” was in the works

After all, nothin’s worse than a mob comin’ ta’ bury ya’ at the stake! Especially via Social Media using tactics reminiscent of Social Media Marketing as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Social Media Marketing – Advertising and Marketing in Ja on a Shoe-String”. It also indicates who owns the majority of Apple iPhones in Jamaica, as the disgruntled mob are most likely FLOW Customers with Apple iPhones to enable them to vote for Tessanne Chin on “The Voice”!

Panem et circenses  (Bread and Circus Games) as Juvenal, Satires, X would say, for the Middle Classes, which many who have access to Television Jamaica would not get to see. Television Jamaica, a local FTA (Free to Air) Broadcaster, discovered this, after they had bitten off more than it can chew as it relates to exploiting the popularity of Tessanne Chin on “The Voice”.

This when they decided to buy the exclusive rights to broadcast “The Voice” on Monday October 7th, 2013, as they awakened the ire of nearly 2000 Facebook and Twitter picketers as stated in the article “TVJ Moves Quickly To Satisfy Angry 'Voice' Lovers”, published Tuesday October 8, 2013 10:30 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

In doing so, FLOW had to block NBC (National Broadcasting Corporation) that carries “The Voice” at 8pm on Monday October 7th, 2013and placed a notice on that channel, advising viewers that they had to switch to Television Jamaica to watch the show. Viewers, in complying, then discovered that the show wasn’t being broadcast live starting at 7pm as it had been on NBC but would be delayed by 2 hours to be shown at 9 pm.

Immediately after the broadcast on Television Jamaica, many disgruntled fans of “The Voice”, used to watching it on FLOW live, took to Social Media sites Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration at Television Jamaica. They even set up a Facebook page, “No to The Voice on TVJ” to vent their frustration, even leaving choice comments on Television Jamaica’s Facebook Page and Twitter Page. The Mob basically got their torches lit and were looking to burn the Witch, which in this case was Television Jamaica.

The mob then took FLOW to task on their Facebook Page, FLOW Jamaica, ready to put the company to the Torch. FLOW, however was quite innocent, stating that their hands were tie and they could only abide by the same rules set up by the Broadcasting Commission.

This as it relates to a Media entity buying the exclusive rights to a show, which Television Jamaica had done and is legally entitled to do according to the BCJ (Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica) as stated in the article “TVJ Gave Notice Of 'The Voice' Rights Acquisition – Broadcasting Commission”, Published Tuesday October 8, 2013 1:35 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So it’s straight legal – should any Middle Class suddenly get the crazy urge to sue Television Jamaica over their exclusive right, for which they paid the Gold Price, Game of Thrones Style!

Tessanne Chin on the Voice – How it all started

A quick recap of the chain of events leading up to her appearance on “The Voice” is in order.
She’d first tweeted that she was planning to audition on “The Voice” on Wednesday September 4th 2013 as stated in “Tessanne Chin to appear on The Voice”, published Wednesday, September 04, 2013 6:58 AM, The Jamaica Observer and “Tessanne Chin For 'The Voice'”, published Wednesday September 4, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

If you don’t know who Tessanne Chin is by now, this video should refresh your memory, which also happens to be my favourite Song sung by her.

Tessanne Chin appeared on “The Voice” on Monday September 23rd 2013 as the final act, singing “Try” by the artiste Pink. What happened next is quite amazing. Suddenly all the four (4) judges turned around begging to have her on their team, as they realized she’d be a winner as stated in “Tessanne wows The Voice”, published Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:04 PM, The Jamaica Observer and “Tessanne Chin scores on The Voice”, published Wednesday, September 25, 2013 by VERNON DAVIDSON Executive editor, The Jamaica Observer.

So blown away were the four judges during the Blind Auditions that within five seconds after she’s started singing, Christina Aguilera pressed her buzzer and spun about, signaling interest, followed by CeeLo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, all vying for her affections as reported  “'Please, please, please': Adam Levine is left  begging to woo popular contestant Tessanne Chin to join his team as blind auditions continue on The Voice”, published 25 September 2013 11:44 GMT By DAILY MAIL REPORTER, Daily UK Mail.

Tessanne Chin then chose Adam Levine to be her mentor, probably ‘cause he’s super cute and embraces all genres of music. What happened next is bordering on frightening and Close Encounters of the Strange Kind (1997) or even Twilight Zone (TV series 1959-1964). Suddenly this Jamaican singer, Tessanne Chin, a big Amy Winehouse fan who was virtually an unknown who made her “Bread and Butter” via Cabaret and Night Club gigs and the odd stage performance and touring abroad began trending immediately on Twitter.  

And the comments were all positive as noted in the article entitled “The Best Twitter Reactions to Tessanne Chin's powerful performance on The Voice”, Published Wednesday September 25, 2013 10:40 am, The Jamaica Gleaner. Overnight, she was a hit, exactly as I’d prophesied several months prior to a bunch of AREL Engineers in July 2013.

Thus the prophecy with regards to Tessanne Chin had been fulfilled!

She was an instant hit with Jamaicans, mainly those who could afford to have NBC on FLOW, based on FLOW’s own Flow's AI (Advertising Intelligence) Report, the only such system in Jamaica that gives real time analysis of the popularity of Television Programming based on polling Viewer trends directly from Set Top Boxes as stated in the article “Tessanne 'Floored' By Ja's Response New Advertising Intelligence Reports Has 'The Voice' Topping Flow Ratings”, Published Sunday September 29, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Sorta like a Nielsen Rating System that’s a perk of having a Digital Television System!

Based on all this buzz, Television Jamaica, one of two (2) FTA (Free To Air) Broadcaster in Jamaica, thus came to this decision to buy the exclusive rights to “The Voice” with the help of Telecom Provider Digicel after the popularity of local Artiste Tessanne Chin in her first Blind Audition on “The Voice”, a singing competition aired on Monday September 23rd 2013.

That’s when the trouble started, as in effect Television Jamaica was trying to bring the popularity and the national Pride felt by the Middle Class Jamaicans who watch the of “The Voice”, previously exclusive only to FLOW, to the masses who already were used to such similar fare in the form of Digicel Rising Stars.

Television Jamaica loses this round – RETV for Live Viewing of The Voice

So you can see why Television Jamaica was so eager to get “The Voice” on their channel. Why they decided to air it 2 hours after its broadcast on NBC instead of live is unknown, as it makes voting for Tessanne Chin by buying copies of her song on iTunes difficult or voting online a maximum of 10 times.  It may be that Television Jamaica is a FTA Broadcaster and thus can’t carry a Live Television Show directly from the US of A unless it’s licensed by the rights holders of “The Voice”.

International Broadcast, such as Miss World and Miss Universe Pageants or Football matches such as FIFA World Cup 2014 to which Television Jamaica has purchased the exclusive rights back in August 2012 as stated in my blog article entitled “RJR Communications Group buys Sports Events rights for JA$10 billion from SportsMax - TVJ becomes The Expendables 2 to Rescue Sports Journalism from Death” can be broadcast on their FTA Station.

Thus Television Jamaica, after their General Manager Claire Grant had made her conciliatory tweet on Tuesday October 8th 2013, has decided to broadcast “The Voice” on RETV live starting at 7pm  instead, with delayed Broadcasts at 9am on Monday and Tuesdays on Television Jamaica as stated in the article “Change comes for 'Voice' fans - TVJ provides live option after viewers' social media rants”, Published Wednesday October 9, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner

Voting for Tessanne Chin – Smartphone voters are mostly Middle Class

Thus, via this Social Media mea culpa, the Middle Class Viewers (I presume so, as only they would do such a thing!) have won this battle overnight, with Television Jamaica having lost out on the buzz of popularity associated with the songbird’s appearance on this prestigious and well –viewed Talent show with its high profile judges. 

Ironic, as it seems that Jamaicans only get worked up about something if it directly affects their private viewing pleasure when the politicians can get away with corruption as stated in “Social Media's Deafening 'Voice'”, Published Wednesday October 9, 2013 By Robert Lalah, The Jamaica Gleaner.

But why exactly it such a big deal? After all, most people, assumedly these private Middle Class types, who have FLOW usually record their live programming on DVR (Digital Video Recorders) for viewing at a later time. Why suddenly upset not that Television Jamaica had purchased the exclusive right for all of Jamaica to see the show, even if delayed?

The answer may be plain and simple. Aside from the unique pleasure of long-time fans of “The Voice” watching the show Live, there’s also the fact that they can vote during the show via purchasing Tessanne Chin’s song on Apple iTunes or voting online as explained in The Voice - Vote Here's how it works immediately at the end of the show, the main means by which Jamaicans can vote and ensure her a chance of winning the competition.

With online voting you’re limited to voting a maximum of 10 times per artiste. You can also vote by buying Tessanne Chin’s song on Apple iTunes, with each vote being equivalent to 5 votes! Finally, you can also vote by calling the toll-free number that’s also posted on “The Voice” dedicated for Tessanne Chin.

It’s like Rising Stars but you vote with your smartphone, a very exclusive experience. This as you have to have either:

1.     Access to the Internet on a computer
2.     Access to the Mobile 3G Internet on a smartphone
3.     An active International Calling Plan from either LIME or Digicel to call the Toll Free Number as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to set up an International Calling Plan for Digicel or LIME Prepaid and Postpaid

Thus this reaction is not just an indication that the Middle Class don’t like you messing with their little sources of pleasure, pride and joy that one of their own is on “The Voice” but it also indicates that many of them have Apple iPhones and Credit Cards or VISA Debit Cards and the capability to purchase music online.

Tessanne Chin on the Voice – Power of Social Networking and FLOW AI

In short, all this buzz has been an eye opener for many interested in the Telecom Providers here in Jamaica:

1.     The trend towards smartphones in Jamaica as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Blackberry popularity wanes as Jamaicans go smartphones - Android and Apple's Smartphone Revolution” and my Geezam Blog article entitled “Apple iPhone boosts Jamaican smartphone usage as BB goes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy” may in truth and in fact be driven mainly by the Middle Classes.
2.     FLOW via their real-time polling service Flow AI (Advertising Intelligence) Report, has the ability to see what you’re watching, when you watch it and how long you’re watching it
3.     Social Media is a very powerful weapon both for Social Media Marketing as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Social Media Marketing – Advertising and Marketing in Ja on a Shoe-String as well as for disgruntled Middle Class Jamaicans to vent their frustrations against the Media

The Middle Classes prefer to have their way, not sharing what they believe they paid for instead of realizing that we’re all Jamaicans. FLOW programming was their ultimate stamp of exclusivity and separation for the rest of society whom they often think they are better off than.

Television Jamaica upset their little reverie thanks to the very same Social Media and statistical information from FLOW’s AI (Advertising Intelligence) Report that revealed how popular Tessanne Chin’s appearance on The Voicewas a unifying force for all Jamaicans. They made a bad decision which they’ve now rectified.

In the process this whole situation reveals how very divide Jamaica still is not only in terms of Classism but also access to Internet and Mobile Broadband on smartphones and even Credit and Debit Card. Really and truly, the only way to vote for Tessanne Chin’s Big Dreams to gain more recognition for her craft as stated in “'I Have Always Dreamed Big' - Tessanne Chin Says 'The Voice' Provides The Perfect Opportunity To Expand Her Horizons”, published Wednesday October 2, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner and US$100,000 in prize money  is via buying and downloading a song for Tessanne Chin on Apple iTunes for The Voice

Which means you have to have an Apple iPhone and thus it may really be that only they alone [Apple iPhone users] can actually make Tessanne Chin’s “Try” at The Voicea success…..

Stay tuned to my blog for a follow-up on this story! And vote for Tessanne Chin on The Voice”!

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