Meet Melanie Witkower, the future of social TV

By Natan Edelsburg 

At Lost Remote we’re very lucky to interview big names like Mark Cuban, MTV President Stephen Friedman, Dan Rather and more. While big names like these (and the ones you might have seen at the Lost Remote NYC Show) have defined social TV, the future of TV lies in the hands of the yoots (the generation that was born into social) . Meet Melanie Witkower, a rising senior at Syracuse University who has embedded herself as a social TV expert within production arms while spending the semester “abroad” in Los Angeles.

We recently had the chance to catch up with Witkower about the interesting ways she’s been navigating and growing her very own social TV practice. She took experiences that included the Shorty Awards (the ceremony I produce), the Business Development Institute, 360i (the ad shop behind the famous Oreo dip in the dark) and Hill Holliday (the ad shop social TV pioneer Mike Proulx calls home) and discovered that she loved social TV. “I want to be the person that blends the story on screen to the experience users have online and then use that insight to create content that allows the audience to feel rewarded,” Witkower explained to Lost Remote. “Right now, most shows are responsive or promotional in their online strategies because there is often a lag between on set production and marketing,” she added. “By the time campaigns are created, production is normally wrapping or finished and there is nobody to gather the necessary social content.”

While spending a semester “abroad” at Syracuse’s LA program she started working at production companies (including Authentic Entertainment and a show called “Safe Word”). After gulping down the East and West Coast social TV worlds she’s on a mission to define the next generation of social TV practices. “I seek to fix this problem by designing campaigns on the production level and packaging them with the show – while doing this I will cater the strategy to how each network’s department is structured and where the target audience is most engaged online,” she explained to Lost Remote.

In less than a day she was able to put together her first company website after bringing on some new business and has opted out of the traditional summer internship to pursue more project-based work and consulting across the bi-coastal relationships she’s built. Witkower is not only a great example of what the social TV future has to hold but is proof that there are still a lot of problems to solve. Where should social TV fit? How can marketing and production work together more efficiently? These are some of the issues she’s beginning to tackle pre-diploma.