An inside look at the social TV world of Discovery's ID Addicts

By Natan Edelsburg 

The Investigative Discovery (ID) channel describes itself as a blend of “fact-based analytical content and compelling human sources.” While this cable channel grows by delivering content to the Law & Order-obsessed kind of TV viewers, they have fostered an extremely unique and passionate fan base online. We spoke with Nellie Ryan, ID’s Senior Director of Marketing Strategy about the word of ID Addicts.

Part of the network’s social TV strategy was created by the fans themselves, crowning themselves as “addicts” in 2010. ID then smartly launched a dedicated site and second screen experience at (above). The network has over 27,000 followers on Twitter and over 291,000 likes on Facebook. Their programming includes On the Case with Paula Zahn, Disappeared, Unusual Suspects and Stolen Voices and Buried Secrets.

In honor of the premier of their new show Deadly Affairs, which premiered on Saturday, they launched (above) a social TV experience led by daytime soap star Susan Lucci that allows fans to participate in a mystery. The final clues were revealed in the season opener.

Lost Remote: How did #IDaddicts start? How powerful are they and when did you start to notice them?

Nellie Ryan: ‘Addict’ is the moniker that our Investigation Discovery fans actually gave themselves while professing their love for our network. We started noticing the term on our Facebook page in 2010 and then started using ‘Addict’ to address our fans in Facebook and Twitter posts. was launched in January of 2012 to connect all of our ‘Addicts’ and give them the platform to chat with each other about the ID shows they love, provide them with exclusive content and experiences, and even integrate them into real world and offline events like screenings and VIP parties. They are our super fans and spend a lot of their time watching and talking about ID so we really do value this amazing group that is helping to make ID a success.

LR: What’s the channel’s social TV strategy?

Ryan: This year, social has played an increasing role in our marketing strategy with particular focus on Facebook , Twitter , GetGlue, and With the launch of which harnesses thousands of tweets and social chatter each day, we see the value of activating these loyal fans not only to drive to linear premieres but to help spread the word about our growing network to a younger audience.

We encourage social messaging on-air, online and in paid media creative. We are also testing social programming with ‘Addicted Edition’ episodes of Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? and Happily Never After that feature tweets and ID Addict posts. So far, it’s been successful, so be on the lookout for more to come.

LR: How does work, who created it and what are the social components?

Ryan: is the anchor site for our transmedia mystery that plays out across social and digital platforms over the course of three weeks.

This fictional love triangle unfolds in real-time as we release content and clues about the characters and their lives across dozens of web sites. Each of the characters has a social media presence that allows players to witness real-time interactions, discover photos, dig into a character’s history, and even chat and email with them. We also engage ID Addicts by fueling conversations on

Our network marketing team worked with our internal creative agency to come up with the idea. It’s been a collaborative labor of love between the marketing, communications, agency, and digital teams. The experience is written by Andrea Phillips, an award-winning transmedia game designer, and Discovery’s own TC Conway is the creative director and producer of the experience.

LR: Why did Susan Lucci get involved and what role does she play?

Ryan: As the host of the upcoming series Deadly Affairs, Susan Lucci acts as the guide on the anchor site at With her daytime experience, playing the devious Erica Kane who had her own fair share of affairs, Lucci was a perfect fit to engage fans and offer advice during the experience. As the story plays out in real-time, Lucci delivers standups and clues that help unravel this fatal love triangle. The experience began on August 20th, and players will have to tune-in to the Deadly Affairs premiere on September 8th at 10pm on Investigation Discovery for the final clue.