Social TV makes chatter matter more

Editor | 29-12-2012

A new study on behalf of the US cable TV industry association CTAM has revealed that social media users are becoming more influential than journalists, celebrities or the networks themselves when it comes to TV.

The research, carried out by Nielsen, fundamentally highlights how heavy social TV users are convincing others to watch the premiere of a new show or discover new series. That said, two-thirds of viewers will chat to someone in the same rom as themselves compared with 17% of all viewers through social media, and 29% on Facebook in particular.
Just over half of viewers watched a programme because of what was said by family and friends. Not surprisingly, given who is the typical social media user, young people 18-34 talk about TV more than the average TV viewer, including those aged 35-49 and 50-64.
More than half (54%) and a fifth (21%) of this demographic started watching a programme because of chatter on Facebook and Twitter respectively. The average was 46% and 14%. By total contrast, 9% of all viewers watched because of a particular show's own website.
In addition to clearly defined age demographics, there were also gender specific differences in social media's influence on viewing. For example, more females (49%, compared with 43% for males) started watching a TV show due to social chatter on Facebook, and more males started watching due to Twitter (16% against 12%). Other social media sites such as Pinterest, Viggie and FourSquare barely registered.
When it comes to who people are talking with as they chat, just under a quarter talk to family and friends as they watch, while journalists and bloggers trail badly behind on 9%, the same percentage for show cast members.