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Channel 4 taps Social TV startup SecondSync

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has engaged the services of Bristol-based Social TV analytics company SecondSync to enrich insights into the fast-growing trend of TV audiences commenting on what they’re watching on TV, using social media channels.

SecondSync continuously tracks and analyses social media conversations around TV broadcasts to provide audience insights that can be used along alongside more traditional audience metrics.

As a first step, Channel 4 is exploring the correlations of social media conversations and patterns alongside BARB overnight figures in order to offer enriched insights to their business.

Sue Gray, Head of Advertising Research & Development at Channel 4 said: “Channel 4′s audience is ahead of the curve when it comes to ‘dual screening’ and it is vital that we understand the implications this has both for our own programming and the advertising environment we offer.

“The ‘real time’ nature of Social TV response is fascinating but it is not a simple surrogate for audience engagement and varies hugely by genre. Channel 4 is exploring a range of ways to incorporate SecondSync data into different aspects of our business including Content, Marketing, Insights and Advertising Sales.”

A recent report from US firm MarketsandMarkets predicted that the worldwide Social TV industry will be worth a colossal US$ 256bn by 2017, as broadcasters and TV operators look for new ways to increase viewer engagement.

However, media management specialists Red Bee Media went on record earlier this month as saying that despite second-screen behaviour being well established among UK television viewers, broadcasters are failing to capitalise on the opportunities therein.

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