So it may come as no surprise that Twitter executive Jean-Philippe Maheu believes live TV viewing will increase. The reason? Viewers are increasingly tired of dealing with “spoiler alerts” and other social media chatter that causes TV show outcomes to seep into their brains too soon.
To be fair, Maheu said his evidence is “anecdotal.” But, he noted, Twitter works well with live TV viewing: 40% of people who own a smartphone or tablet are using social networks while watching TV and 95% of social-media conversation around TV takes place on Twitter.
This will be good news for networks who have built major entertainment value out of live viewing over the years. Now, most of this surrounds major events -- the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, and major singing competition shows.
Pushing the connection between the dominant social media service and TV, Nielsen in September will launch its Twitter TV Rating to track Twitter conversations. Twitter technology also allows Nielsen to report trends useful for advertisers through monitoring of 121 TV channels; Nielsen can track shows and their commercials and then provide information on the Twitter activity around them.
Live viewing would push Twitter use even further into the minds and behavior of viewers, perhaps most likely the heavy viewing and younger ones.
It doesn’t stop there. We are seeing more live TV viewing online. That also works in favor of traditional TV networks and media companies who have already made plans to start live mobile apps and other live digital services.
What about time-shifted viewing? That sounds so yesterday -- or 5 or 40 minutes ago. In the past, in any event.