Commentary

The Whole Story: 2 Views Of Social TV

8-23

Social TV -- in all it’s forms -- is on a roll.  More apps, more cross-platform promotion and apparently, more engagement.  This USA TouchPoints analysis looks at what share of TV viewing is concurrent with social media use and vice versa.

With TV still far and away the dominant medium in terms of the time the general population spends with it, the small slice of total TV time that accounts for concurrent use of social media isn't a surprise. 

Despite the increased activity in and excitement around the space, Social TV is still small, though rapidly growing, in the larger picture of TV consumption. (This 2% slice is not solely constrained to social activity that relates to onscreen TV content; it encompasses all use of social.)

However, when looking at the question from the other end of the telescope, we see that the share of social media time that is spent concurrently viewing TV, the picture is very different: The share is 15-times larger at 30%.  In part, this is because of the relative total volume of time compared to TV. But it is also likely to be due to the social currency that TV provides for interaction between friends, as well as the efforts of broadcasters and content owners to increasingly promote viewer interaction across social platforms.

While a superficial view of this data may suggest that TV benefits social more than social benefits TV, such a conclusion would be simplistic. The benefits are inevitably flowing both ways. The slice of TV viewing that is concurrent with social media use is only likely to grow in the future, as the sector crystalizes the underlying models and consumer behavior continues to evolve.

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5 comments about "The Whole Story: 2 Views Of Social TV".
  1. Eric Conn from Gloto , August 23, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.
    We regularly work with top-tier entertainment and sports networks and the excitement over social TV and synchronized companion experiences, especially on mobile, is warranted. Initial results have shown significantly more traffic with higher levels of engagement and satisfaction among viewers. The recently launched Syfy Sync product for iPad and Android tablet is a shining example of the state-of-the-art right now. Definitely worth checking out as a companion social experience for their show FaceOff on Tuesday nights.
  2. Angelina Darrisaw from Viacom , August 27, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
    Do you have a larger report you can share as the source of this data?
  3. Eric Conn from Gloto , August 27, 2012 at 10:53 a.m.
    We are in the process of aggregating and anonymizing the data so we can release the results. I'd be more than happy to share them once we finish everything. As you might expect, there are differences in the types of experiences that consumers find engaging depending on the content itself. What works for live sports doesn't necessarily translate to scripted shows or reality TV and vice versa.
  4. Angelina Darrisaw from Viacom , August 27, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you Eric. This is very helpful! I look forward to the release of this data.
  5. Mike Bloxham from Frank N. Magid Associates , August 27, 2012 at 7:10 p.m.
    Angelina, I'm not sure if your request for data relates to Eric's Comment or to the original data posted as part of the article. If the latter then it available as part of the USA TouchPoints service which Tom Evans and others at Viacom are familiar with. This data and more of a similar nature is available to subscribers Mike