Commentary

Millennial Women Will Follow Olympics on Social Media (And TV)

While TV still rules the roost, social media is a close second in millennial women’s preferences for Olympics-related content, according to data from Influenster cited by eMarketer. Influenster surveyed 3,992 women ages 19-35 who said they plan to follow at least some coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics Games, kicking off today in Rio de Janeiro.

Overall 68% of millennial women surveyed said they plan to watch the Olympics on TV, while 63% said they plan to follow the games on social media (obviously there is a significant degree of overlap here). Asked which specific social media sites they favored for Olympics coverage, over 60% said Facebook, 51% Instagram, and 41% Twitter.

Further down the preference hierarchy, 33% said they will stay updated through friends and family, 25% will turn to news Web sites, and 19% will visit official Olympics Web sites. At the bottom of the heap, just 13% said they would follow the games on radio, 10% cited Olympic apps, and 7% claimed they would turn to print newspapers.

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These findings suggest the big social networks are meeting with some success in positioning themselves as destinations to follow and discuss live events in real time.

These efforts include Facebook’s launch of Facebook Live, its live streaming video feature, available to broadcasters and publishers as well as ordinary users. Earlier this week Facebook announced that it is experimenting with allowing a select group of publishers to insert 15-second-long ads into their Live video streams.

Meanwhile Facebook’s chief rival in the live content arena, Twitter, is focusing on key content categories including live sporting events. Earlier this year Twitter won the digital rights to NFL games on Thursday Night. Come this fall, Twitter plans to stream 10 Thursday Night football games while they are simultaneously being shown on NBC, CBS and the NFL. And this summer Twitter also launched its first a live stream of ESPN’s coverage of Wimbledon.

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