Media Social is a new online broadcasting platform for churches. But rather than just broadcasting content, it emphasizes the social factor with conversation and engagement. It synchronizes the online broadcast with social media conversation, including Facebook and Twitter. Approaches like this are changing how we watch TV, as we shift from passive watching to active engagement.
It sounds like Media Social coordinates online reaction to a real-time event. For churches, does that effectively turn every Sunday morning service into the “event”? If so, is this something only the big churches can afford?
Peter McGowan: We believe that people want to engage at a deeper level. Media Social takes passive content and makes it highly interactive—making it a logical next step for churches trying to develop an online community. They can increase their evangelistic reach and get to know their online audience at the same time. Megachurches have proven that the online church model is a highly successful method to increase the number of people they are reaching as well as a viable platform for amplifying their message. Now, Media Social provides a simple to use, stable, professional, customizable technology for any church—big or small.
With Media Social, churches like Central Christian Church, Las Vegas; 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville, Ga.; Crossroads Christian Church, Corona, Calif.; Granger Community Church, Granger, Ind.; and Community Bible Church, San Antonio, Texas, have been able to broadcast high quality live broadcasts as well as leverage pre-recorded content with the added benefit of live interaction. Media Social is reliable, scalable and extremely cost effective—only $99 per month. It’s perfect for any sized church wanting to reach out beyond the walls of their building and into the future of online broadcasting.
How does this compare to OnlineChurch.org, the free service from LifeChurch.tv, that also offers an event-like quality to a church’s online service?
Peter: The free service from LifeChurch.tv is a great starting tool. They have done an incredible job laying groundwork and proving the kingdom impact of online church. It does comes with some great features but not all the features that would make it the right solution or tool to meet the needs of every church. We have priced Media Social so churches can have turnkey access to critically important features at a really affordable price.
[But] Media Social has key features that set it apart from other online platforms, [including Facebook integration, scalability, distributing pre-recorded content, a host dashboard system with increased data on visitors and the ability to embed the entire experience on your Facebook page.]
You have quite a few churches already using Media Social. What’s the reaction been? Can you tell us some stories about how it’s impacting lives?
Peter: Media Social is an easy to use online platform. Organizations and churches love that. They want something they can count on. Media Social is stable and reliable. They want something that they can easily tie into their own design and brand. Media Social is customizable.
Many of the churches that are using Media Social technology had tried other methods of growing their online reach but ran into issues like being unable to maintain stability during a broadcast, having interaction services unreliable, and not being able to scale the platform to meet their needs.
Central Christian Church in Las Vegas has actually been able to plan their multi-site campus locations based on the demographic information they received from the online campus location demographics. This allowed growth as well as vital, key areas to go to where community was already forming!
One of the greatest Media Social success stories comes from Community Bible Church in Texas. They maximized their online influence, broadcast live and pre-recorded content on their channel 24 hours a day, and created a Facebook campus that grew from 0 to over 120,000 fans.
You said this technology was developed for mainstream “broadcast” clients. Does this mean that the church could actually be getting on board with something at virtually the same time as the mainstream world?
Peter: Absolutely. We are engaged with several TV networks who love the technology that we’ve created and its unique integration with their Facebook viewers. They see how they can leverage it for their shows and events. They see the advantages of being able to target specific groups of people and contextualize content based on viewer demographics like age or location. Networks love the stability and quality of Media Social and the unique features that no other product currently offers.
So yes, this is a huge opportunity for organizations and churches to be right on the forefront of the same technology that major networks want and are planning to use. Online broadcasting isn’t just a fad. It is the future for anyone who has content and events that they want to broadcast—and that’s something the church has always had.