Technology

Social media to exert growing influence on TV viewing in the US

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MUMBAI: Consumers‘ interaction with social media in relation to their television viewing in the US is relatively modest compared to other forms of communication and lags behind other online media, TV promotions and, especially, offline communication, according to a new study. Only 12 per cent of respondents use social media one or more times per day concerning TV.

However, the number jumps to 37 per cent using social media one or more times per week-suggesting growth potential for social media as an influence on TV viewing. Half of these respondents report viewing TV concurrently with using social media.

The research also identified several groups who are highly connected to social media and television, and who represent an important opportunity for marketers. These are among numerous findings from a multi-pronged study, entitled ‘Talking Social TV, to help determine how social media interaction impacts television viewing‘. The research was spearheaded by the Social Media Committee of the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), and included a quantitative study by the Keller Fay Group, an ethnographic study by Nielsen Life360, and social media analyses by NM Incite and Bluefin Labs.

An academic team including Peter Fader of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Mitch Lovett of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, and Renana Peres of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was engaged to undertake statistical modeling.

Among the study‘s many findings:

In terms of social-media influence, only 1.5 per cent of study respondents report being drawn to existing TV shows by social media -but that number increases to six per cent when asked about new shows; Social media use varies by genre; Sci-Fi, Sports and Talk/News show strong interaction overall, both while people are watching and while they are not watching.

Reality programming‘s interaction is much stronger while People are watching, less so before or after the programme. Comedy follows an opposite pattern, with less interaction during the programme and more interaction in reaction to the programme;

"Super Connectors", defined as those most actively involved in social media usage related to TV viewing, are 12 per cent of the public, and tend to be younger and are more likely female. Other groups also are active, although Super Connectors are not well represented among adults over 45 years of age

"Super Connectors" are far more likely to be involved with all means of communication about television (online, marketing and word of mouth). They were two-to-three times as likely to interact with social media related to television as the general population.

"Hispanics" are more involved with social media than the general population, especially while watching television. However, they did not approach the level of interaction of the Super Connectors. While watching, Hispanics are 50 per cent more likely to interact with social media related to television, and to interact with most television genres, led by sports programming

Mobile device ownership (smartphones and tablets) increases social media interaction; in on-demand and online watching occasions, social media played a role twice as often;

People use social media to discuss TV shows even when others are watching with them.

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