Viacom Leverages Social Media To Aid TV Experience

A new Viacom study on social media says viewers engage around seven different types of social TV activities -- online or offline -- a week.

Viacom, the young-skewing group of TV networks, says its national online survey looked at research from 1,500 Viacom Media Networks viewers ages 13-54. 

Research found that those young viewers who watch TV with “others” score 85% among all respondents. Searching supplemental TV content was at a 61% number, while viewing TV show clips on social networks comes up with 58%.

Viacom says the leading source of discovery of social TV services is through search (38%), followed by social networks (26%) and commercials in shows (22%).   

Viacom points out that there are many variations when it comes to using social media -- especially chat features. For instance, of those using chat, 56% use a social TV app/service; 53% come through Facebook; 50% through individual or group texts; and 38% through Skype or Apple’s FaceTime.  

Colleen Fahey Rush, executive vice president and chief research officer, Viacom Media Networks, stated: "At VMN, we're focused on leveraging our fans' attachment to their favorite shows by developing compelling social TV services and apps that deepen those connections and unlock the value of social chatter." 

Giving an example of one participant in the survey, Viacom says: "When I'm watching [MTV’s] ‘Jersey Shore’, I have Facebook chats with 10 friends and I'm texting a dozen people, and I can be on the phone to my best friend.”

The No. 1 request for content via social TV services is full-length episodes (88%), followed by sneak peeks of new episodes (75%), and behind-the-scenes extras (71%) and highlight clips (71%).

Viacom says the new research reveals that consumers engage in social TV activities "C's the moment" primarily by communicating, consuming content and checking comments.

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