Comedy Central’s Social Media Comedy Festival

As television and social media become ever more intertwined, new uses of Twitter and Facebook for broadcast are frequently pioneered, but rarely as a primary distribution platform.  Next week, Comedy Central will be hosting a five day comedy festival entirely on Twitter and Vine, completely removing its traditional broadcast element from the equation, and effectively testing an entirely new format for mainstream media distribution sanctioned by a company as large as Comedy Central’s owner, Viacom.  Only one event for the festival (a panel discussion between Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Judd Apatow) will take place before a live audience, and it will be broadcast via Twitter exclusively.  Events like Comedy Central’s social media comedy festival could be a valid solution to the question: how do we engage mass audiences in real time in an on-demand world?