Two-Thirds of New TV Show Viewers Search for Show First

The multiscreen viewer truly does exist. Crossover between television viewing and online video watching is growing as TV viewers increasingly rely on digital outlets for engagement around TV-related content, according to new research from Google.

Viewers often decide whether to tune into a new show only after conducting a search. Two-thirds of viewers of new shows search online before tuning in, and Google said that both search queries and YouTube views show positive correlations with live viewership and three-day viewing, according to a study of search activity, video views and engagement metrics across 100 network and cable shows. While new shows are searched less frequently, they yield twice as many queries for promos, ratings and reviews. “This suggests that users may be doing their homework prior to tuning in,” the report said.



Overall, about 90% of TV viewers visit YouTube and Google search. TV-related searches rose 16% on Google in 2013 compared to the year before, TV-related views on YouTube by 35%, TV-related searches on YouTube by 54%, TV-related engagement on YouTube by 56% and watch time on YouTube by 65%. Much of the growth is driven by searches on mobile phones and tablets, underscoring the key role that mobile devices play as a conduit for interactive TV.

Informational searches about cast, premiere dates and plots are generally occurring on mobile devices, while watch-related queries occur on desktops and tablets, since most users prefer to watch shows on larger screens.

YouTube is also driving interest in new TV shows. The average TV channel on YouTube has seen an increase in subscribers of about 69% throughout 2013.

1 comment about "Two-Thirds of New TV Show Viewers Search for Show First ".
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  1. Claudio Marcus from FreeWheel, April 16, 2014 at 4:38 p.m.

    This provocative headline caught my attention but I found no evidence to support it in the article or the cited research. While the stat is indeed mentioned in the research note, it is attributed in a footnote to a Google/Ipsos OTX, Pathways to TV Consumption Study, 2013. But when I tried finding the related research (using Google), the only reference that came up was the footnote on the research the article cites.

    The headline is suspect as research on TV program viewing, such as that conducted by the Council on Research Excellence, gives much lower weight to the impact of social or online in terms of driving viewership of TV programs. And unlike the footnote on the Google research note, this research is readily available, so that anyone can see it at...

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