Study: Half of Social Media Activity While Watching TV Relates To TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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1coolpic2One of every six times a viewer is watching primetime TV, that viewer also is using social media, according to a Council for Research Excellence (CRE) study. About half of social media activity while users are watching TV relates to the TV programming.

Social media appeared twice as effective for attracting viewers to new shows (6.8%) as returning shows (3.3%).  Social media activity about new shows peaks around show premieres. Specials, indexing at 212, sci-fi, at 152, and sports, at 129, lead among genres in socially connected TV viewing.

Social media is still exceeded by traditional TV promos, which were at least three times as influential in helping viewers find new shows, according to the study results.

 These are among many findings from the CRE’s recently completed study, “Talking Social TV 2,” a follow-up to the CRE’s 2013 “Talking Social TV” study. This newest study was conducted for the CRE during the fall 2013 TV season by a research team from Keller Fay Group and fielded by Nielsen Life360. The findings were gleaned from more than 78,000 mobile-app diary entries submitted by nearly 1,700 study participants (age 15-54), across a broad set of demographics, permitting case studies on some 1,600 shows.
“Social media definitely has become established as a ‘second-screen’ for a select group of viewers,” said Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, market resources, of Discovery  Communications, who chairs the CRE’s Social Media Committee. “Social marketing seems effective in generating conversation around new season premieres, particularly with certain genres of programming.”
The study provides these findings, among others, regarding demographics:
  • The profile of someone interacting daily with TV via social media skews 58% female and 20% Hispanic, with a median age of 35;
  • Hispanics are the demographic group most engaged with social TV while viewers are watching, indexing at 143;
  • 10% of the time an Hispanic viewer is watching a primetime TV show, the viewer is using social media in connection with that show;
  • Facebook social-TV users skew female and Hispanic, and aged 35-44; Twitter users were found to be more evenly split by gender and among Hispanics and African Americans and more skewed to the 15-24 and 25-34 age groups.

A presentation of findings to the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Re:Think  conference can be found on the Social Media Committee page of the CRE website.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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