Social TV underpinned by communication, content and comments, says Viacom

A new study from Viacom Media Networks has found that social TV and co-viewing trends are driving a rapid shift in TV viewing from passive lean-back consumption to active lean-forward engagement.

The study identifies the most common social TV activities as being watching TV with others (85%), searching for supplemental content (61%), and viewing TV show clips on social networks (58%).

Within its wide-ranging study, Viacom makes the awkward pun that consumers who engage in social TV activities “C’s the moment” primarily by communicating, consuming content and checking comments.

“One of the main goals of this research was to understand how to inspire social TV activity among our audiences,” said Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer at Viacom Media Networks. ”At VMN, we’re focused on leveraging our fans’ attachment to their favourite shows by developing compelling social TV services and apps that deepen those connections and unlock the value of social chatter.”

The two-phase study involved 24 ethnographies in Boston and San Diego with VMN viewers aged 13-52 that engage in social TV activities on at least a weekly basis. National online surveys were also conducted with over 1,500 VMN viewers aged 13-54.

When asked what social TV means to them, the most commonly reported words were “interactive,” “friends” and “Facebook “or “Twitter.” The leading source of discovery of social TV services is through search (38%), followed by social networks (26%) and ads run on shows (22%), according to the report.

These issues and more will be discussed during the Social TV World Summit event taking place in London on 22-23 May, 2012. For more information and to register, please visit

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