Social TV usage has tripled in the US over the past 18 months, according to a new report from US research firm The Diffusion Group, which adds that the 10mn monthly active users exert an “outsized influence” as mainstream media outlets repeat and amplify their reactions.
Social TV is expected to continue to grow significantly over the next seven years, more than doubling by 2020, driving major changes in the business landscape for television and over-the-top video.
According to Joel Espelien, author of the report: “For many TV viewers, social TV is fundamentally altering the television experience, from a passive consumption medium to a new kind of community experience, in which millions of Americans gather around the digital water cooler to discuss TV shows in real-time as they watch programming.
The report, based on social TV viewing data collected during the past several months, adds that the average social TV user has more than 500 followers on Twitter.
“The combination of these factors gives social TV viewers an outsized influence that extends beyond social networks, as mainstream media repeat and amplify the reactions of social TV viewers for the rest of us,” said Espelien.
The analyst adds that the growing influence of social TV means that the entire value chain must “adapt to a world in which the audience increasingly becomes part of the programme”.