TV viewers in the US are increasingly using social networks while watching primetime shows, as brands increasingly invest in Facebook and Twitter ads to coincide with TV events, according to new research.
The study, from the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) found that on average 1 in 6 primetime TV viewers are accessing social media as they watch.
The study went on to find that one-half of their social media activity is related to the programming they are watching.
The study analyzed more than 78,000 mobile application diary entries from nearly 1,700 participants aged 15 through 54, across “a broad set of demographics,” and it covered some 1,600 shows.
The research was conducted by Keller Fay Group for the CRE. Other findings included:
• Social media was more than twice as effective at driving viewers to new shows, at 6.8 percent, than returning shows (3.3 percent).
• Specials drew the most social network activity, followed by science fiction, and sports.
• Traditional TV promos were still three times more influential in driving viewers to new shows than social media was.
• The profile of people interacting daily with TV via social media skewed 58 percent female and 20 percent Hispanic, and the median age was 35.
• Hispanics were the demographic group most engaged with social TV while watching, and 10 percent of the time Hispanic viewers were watching primetime shows, they were using social media in connection with those shows.
• Facebook social TV users skewed female, Hispanic, and between the ages of 35 and 44, while Twitter users were more evenly split by gender and among Hispanics and African Americans, and more skewed to the age groups of 15 through 24 and 25 through 34.
Discovery Communications Senior Vice President of Market Resources Beth Rockwood, who chairs the social media committee for the CRE, said in a release announcing the results:
Social media definitely has become established as a second-screen for a select group of viewers. Social marketing seems effective in generating conversation around new season premieres, particularly with certain genres of programming.