One in Five Americans Use Social Media with Primetime TV

Roughly one in five online Americans ages 15-54 (19%, to be precise) said they use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter while watching primetime TV on a daily basis, according to new data from the Council for Research Excellence. Meanwhile 16% of all primetime viewing occasions involve social media interaction of some kind, with around half of these (7.3%) relating specifically to the programming.

The findings are based on a survey of 78,000 mobile app entries provided by around 1,700 subjects, conducted on behalf of the CRE by the Keller Fay Group. The data covered viewing habits for a total of 1,600 shows.

The most popular TV subjects for social media interaction were new TV shows, indexing at 142 out of 100, and sports programming, indexing at 129. In terms of social media preferences, 11.4% of all primetime viewing occasions involve interactions with Facebook, with 3.8% relating specifically to the programming, while 3.3% involved interactions with Twitter, with 1.8% relating specifically to the programming.

The most popular places for viewing programming accompanied by social interactions were channel apps or Web sites (indexing 152) and on-demand TV (indexing 137). Viewing on tablets and smartphones indexed heavily among social viewers, at 287 and 241, respectively. Social viewing is also connected to binge viewing, with multiple episode viewing indexing at 146, versus 104 for current episodes.

The CRE/Keller Fay study identified two groups, “TV Super Connectors” and “Sports Super Connectors,” who are twice as likely to use Facebook and Twitter as the average viewer. TV Super Connectors skew 62% female and have a median age of 34, while Sports Super Connectors skew 57% male, with a median age of 35.

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