TV Viewers Use Twitter During Ads

Good news for TV programmers: TV viewers use Twitter during their TV programming -- showing lots of engagement, according to analysts. The bad news? Many are also tweeting during commercials.

In analyzing some 59 episodes, a new Nielsen SocialGuide study shows that 30% of all those who tweeted did so during a program’s commercial time; with 70% of that tweet activity coming during program content.

The study also says “the more commercial time in a program, the more tweets were sent in commercial time.”

Where there was a high of 43% share of commercial time in a TV show, there was a 43% share of all tweets. Looking at the other end, a low 9% share of commercial time yielded a 8% share of tweet activity.

The study said there is little difference between the type of shows when this activity occurs. Where there was 35% share of commercial time in total airtime when it comes to comedy TV shows, there was 35% of all tweet activity happening in that commercial time. 

Share of tweeting was about the same in reality TV shows as well -- a 28% share of commercial time in an entire program drew a 29% share of overall tweets. Drama TV offered a 29% share of commercial time and 28% share of tweets; and sports was at 24% for commercial time, with a 25% share of tweets.

2 comments about "TV Viewers Use Twitter During Ads".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 20, 2013 at 10:05 a.m.

    What you've really described here is an audience so addicted to media that it can't concentrate on anything for longer than 140 characters. And those folks not tweeting in the commercial breaks are either on the phone, texting, sexting, on Facebook, eBay, Amazon, etc., or engaged in a feeding frenzy with the remote. Any inference that they're watching the commercials is specious reasoning, especially given the proliferation of time-shifted viewing and our willingness to pay extra to avoid the ads The good news for the TV guys, however, is that the Twitter crowd pays even less attention to the online ads than they do to the TV ads in fast forward.

  2. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, September 20, 2013 at 10:13 a.m.

    I would think that if a viewer was so engaged in a show they wouldn't want to break their concentration by tweeting during it. And does the study know for a fact that the tweets were about the program? Also, why is tweeting during program considered an indication of engagement but it's considered a negative if it happens during an ad. Perhaps tweets sent during commercials were about the commercials?

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