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Diffusion, in collaboration with YouGov, have just launched their annual Social TV Trends Report 2011 - which finds that the way Brits watch, share, discuss and interact with their TVs is fundamentally changing as a result of social media. More than three quarters (76 per cent) of TV viewers surf the internet, use mobile phones, use iPads or instant message while watching their favourite programmes. Surveying the habits of 2,025 British online consumers with YouGov, the Diffusion report has found that ‘media stacking’ with TV (the act of engaging with two or more forms of media at once) continues to grow in popularity and has now become mainstream.
Among ‘Media Stacking’ activities, Internet browsing is the most popular activity with 62 per cent surfing while watching TV followed by using a mobile phone (46 per cent) and using Facebook (38 per cent). One in five (20 per cent) 18-24 year old TV viewers are on Twitter while watching their favourite TV shows while 28 per cent are using instant messaging such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). While 96 per cent of 18-24 year old TV viewers admit to ‘media stacking’, it’s not just an activity for the younger generation as almost two thirds (63 per cent) of TV viewing Brits aged over 55 do it too.
According to the report, 43 per cent of British adults have commented or discussed it with other people not in the same room as them. Women are more likely to be doing so – one in two (50 per cent) compared to 37 per cent of men, while 18-34 year olds are the most prolific commentators (68 per cent).
Social media continues to revive TV as a truly social experience allowing a deeper, shared viewing experience with one big difference: instead of rushing home with our friends and family to huddle around the box on a Saturday night, we are flocking to our laptops, iPads and mobile phones to share the experience virtually. British consumers are information hungry and it appears that not even the most compelling new TV shows can glue our eyes solely on the box as Brits of all ages are combining their viewing with at least one other digital channel. This trend is good news for TV manufacturers who can integrate social TV capabilities into their products, and an opportunity for broadcasters who can truly still create national TV moments that aren’t just major sporting events and see off the naysayers who predicted that the internet and catch-up TV would be the death knell of linear TV programming.