1/5 Americans use social daily to engage with TV

19% of online Americans ages 15-54 say they are reached by social media at least once a day regarding primetime TV, according to a Council for Research Excellence (CRE) study. For example, someone who saw something or posted something about a primetime TV show on Facebook or Twitter would fall within this category.

16% of primetime TV viewing occasions involve some interaction with social media. During nearly half of these occasions (7.3% of primetime TV viewing instances), the viewer is engaging with social media specifically about the show being viewed. These viewing occasions constitute the study’s definition of “socially connected viewing” – occasions when people engage in social media about a TV show while watching that show.

Socially connected TV viewing is most evident with new TV shows, which indexed at 142, and sports programming, which indexed at 129.

On 11.4% of primetime TV viewing occasions, viewers are using Facebook; on 3.3% of viewing occasions, they’re using Twitter. On 3.8% of primetime viewing occasions, viewers are using Facebook regarding the show they are watching – making them socially connected viewers. This compares to 1.8% for Twitter. Therefore, Facebook’s socially connected viewing occasions were 33% of its total TV viewing occasions (3.8%/11.4%) while Twitter’s were 55% (1.8%/3.3%).

These are among additional findings from the CRE’s recently completed study, “Talking Social TV 2,” a follow-up to the CRE’s 2012-2013 “Talking Social TV” study. Selected findings from “Talking Social TV 2” were presented on March 24, 2014 at theAdvertising Research Foundation’s Re:Think conference.

The study was conducted for the CRE by a team from Keller Fay Group with field work conducted by Nielsen. The findings were gleaned from more than 78,000 mobile-app diary entries submitted by nearly 1,700 study participants representative of the online population ages 15-54, permitting case studies on some 1,600 shows. Fieldwork for the study was conducted from September 16 to October 6, 2013, dates selected to coincide with the launch of the Fall TV season.

“A key question we sought to address is how social media usage relates to new viewing platforms and behaviours – for example tablet usage or binge viewing,” says Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, market resources, of Discovery Communications, who chairs the CRE’s Social Media Committee. “The majority of viewing remains live and on traditional TV sets, but we do see that social media use has a stronger relationship with the newer platforms and behaviours. This is evidence that social media is an important part of the new ways that people are consuming television content.”


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