18% follow fave TV shows on Twitter

Fewer than one in five (18%) people online follow the show they’re watching on TV via Twitter, according to a report from global forecasting firm Strategy Analytics which identifies the six main ways people watch TV today, by the degree to which connected devices impact viewing and TV interaction.

Traditional TV viewers, dubbed “couch potatoes” in the report, are the largest segment but only account for one third (33%) of people online who watch TV. Very focused on TV when watching it, they never phone or text people about what they’re watching and hardly ever use social media. None of this group uses Twitter trending topics or hashtags on a weekly basis to follow a show they’re watching.

The next biggest group, “OTTers” – accounting for one in four (26%) people – are less interested in TV, being the most likely to go 24 hours without watching it. They prefer to watch shows via online or “over-the-top” services; 95% of OTTers watch a TV show they missed on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

“Couch chatterers” account for 12% of TV viewers. They’re similar to couch potatoes but are 2.5x more likely than the average person online (90% vs. 37%) to phone or text others about what they’re watching on TV. As with couch potatoes, none of this group use Twitter to follow a show they’re watching but are much more likely to be using another device (80%) when watching TV than the average viewer (65%).

Three in ten people are “multi-screeners”, however, they use devices in different ways so split into three groups.

“Indifferent” and “moderate” multi-screeners each account for one in nine (11%) people online who watch TV. “Indifferent multi-screeners” are the least interested in TV of all six groups, 83% use another device whilst watching TV and they’re highly likely (84%) to phone or text people about what they’re watching, 91% use Twitter to follow a show.

Almost half (45%) of “Moderate multi-screeners” TV viewing is done on computers, tablets or smartphones and 90% go online if they’ve missed a show. However, they’re the second most likely (66%) to have a pay TV subscription. They’re extremely likely to phone/text (93%) about a show but only 1% use Twitter on a weekly basis to follow a show.

“Manic multi-screeners” account for just 7% of people. Along with indifferent multi-screeners (51%) they’re the only group where over half (55%) of TV viewing is conducted on other devices, however, they’re still the most likely (74%) to have a pay TV subscription. They’re the most likely to use another device whilst watching TV (97%), the most likely (96%) to phone/text about a show and to use Twitter weekly to follow a show (100%).

“The traditional way broadcasters and advertisers have discussed TV audiences for 70 years – by age and gender – is becoming increasingly irrelevant and outdated,” explains David Mercer, Strategy Analytics’ principal analyst. “People within a traditional group, say 18-34 year old men, can watch TV in completely different ways so new behaviors are as important as demographics when it comes to planning for all elements within the TV industry – be it content, scheduling and advertising.”

“However, broadcasters and advertisers need to learn the intricacies about the relationship between TV and new devices. For instance, there’s a lot of hype about how Twitter is changing TV viewing but, in reality, only two types of people are remotely engaged with ‘Twitter + TV’. Consequently, strategies heavily focused on this would be a big waste as it’s irrelevant to over 80% of TV viewers.”


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