But do they want to do the two at the same time? And, do the two activities feed each other? TV networks seems to think so, based on the plethora of second-screen apps they’ve rolled out. But don’t let the multitasking fool you. Consumers might be watching TV and chatting on Facebook, for instance, but the activities aren’t always linked, nor are devices created equally.
First, let’s look at consumer behavior. Nielsen said in its just-released study that 46% of smartphone owners and 43% of tablet owners use their mobile devices as second screens while watching TV. Nearly half of tablet owners say they’re looking up info about what they’re watching. That figure goes down for smartphone users though, with only one-third looking up info about the show. Plus, there is some early data to suggest that consumers who watch videos with second screens in hand respond to the ads. Nielsen said 20% of tablet owners say they shop for products advertised during the show, compared to 13% of smartphone users.
But is social media effective in marketing a show? Can it actually drive viewers to watch? Nielsen said about 15% of tablet owners had watched a show they heard about via social media. However, a study from the Council for Research Excellence reported that only 1.5% of study respondents checked out existing TV shows because of social media, while 6% tuned into new shows thanks to social media.
There may be an opportunity to connect video viewing and social media more deeply, especially when zeroing in on the different social habits of those watching various genres of TV programming. The Council for Research Excellence found that sci-fi, sports and news generate the most social interaction, both during and after a show. Reality TV programming interaction is high while people watch the show, but not before or after. As for comedy shows, they generate more interaction after a show airs than during.
The most highly engaged of social media users when it comes to TV viewing are younger and more likely to be female. They are also are more avid users of all types of communication, from online to word of mouth marketing, and they’re two to three times as likely to interact with social media related to the TV as the generation population is. Hispanics are also often more involved with social media while watching TV than the general population.
Even so, bear in mind that the CRE study reported that only 12% of respondents (from a sample of adults 18 to 54), use social media more than once per day concerning TV. On a weekly basis, that number is 37%.