This year the ceremony takes place on February 27, 2011 at the Kodak Theatre and will be hosted by Gen Y stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
It's been a rough couple years for the annual telecast with ratings taking a bit of a hit---especially among Millennials. However, last year the Academy Awards made a concerted effort to attract youth to the show and it paid off with a 14% boost to Oscar TV ratings among 18-49 year olds.
The 2010 Oscars youth strategy included a more social media experience, the inclusion of teen friendly stars like Miley Cyrus, Zac Effron and Taylor Lautner as presenters, two original Oscars web series (Behind the Dress & The Road to the Oscars), extra video features and live streaming of the Red Carpet arrivals.
This year The Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences is once again rolling out the red carpet in a bid to attract a more youthful and technically savvy demographic with a new interactive technology that gives online Oscar fans the ultimate insider's view of Hollywood's biggest night.
The new premium feature is called Oscar All Access, and gives fans an insider’s view of the evening from the Red Carpet all the way through the Governor’s Ball.
Members (signing up is $4.99) actually will have the ability to control their own experience using the groundbreaking “360 cam” technology to control multiple cameras along the Red Carpet, at the Awards show, and afterwards at the Governor’s Ball.
In addition to Oscar All Access experience, the Academy also has an official Backstage Pass iPhone and iPad App that allow you to have a more interactive social entertainment experience with the Academy Awards show. Hopefully next year they will expand the Backstage Pass to include all types of Android mobile devices.
It's great to see The Academy embracing new media and providing fans with a more interactive experience. Last year was a step in the right direction and hopefully their social TV friendly approach will pay off in big ratings boost among younger and tech savvy demographic groups.
P.S. As long as I have your attention, if you haven't already--go see Oscar host James Franco in his Oscar nominated role for the film 127 Hours. The story, the acting, the cinematography are amazing. Go James! Go Danny Boyle!