BBC And ITV Are Beating Netflix, Amazon For Second Screeners

With the proviso that the election has just proven that one cannot base too much around social media sentiment, congratulations are in order for the BBC and ITV, who are ending the year with something to cheer about.

According to Kantar, the two terrestrial broadcasters have knocked the streamers Netflix and Amazon for six in the social media buzz rankings for the year. 

The BBC is far and away out in front for generating the most tweets about its shows. It has twice as much buzz, with 28m tweets, compared to second-place ITV's 14m. ITV2 is in second place, with BBC 2 in fourth. 

The most tweeted-about shows are an interesting mix. At the top of the pile is ITV2's "Love Island," which achieved 9m posts compared to BBC1's "Question Time" on 6m with ITV's "Good Morning" breakfast news show on 3m. Clearly, young couples getting together in the sun and the hot political news of the day are the two extremes that get Brits reaching for their social media pages. 

There is probably an element of fun and the British sense of humour with the most-tweeted tv event of the year. "The Eurovision Song Contest 2019" achieved 9m tweets, with "The Brits" in second place with 5m tweets.

On the other hand, only one show from the streamers managed to get a million tweets -- Netflix's "Black Mirror." Behind it were "Shadowlands" and "Umbrella Academy" at half a million tweets each. After these came "Good Omens," the only Amazon show to get near the half a million tweets mark. 

This means that overall, the BBC had nearly five times as many tweets about its programming as Netflix, and Amazon had just a quarter of the interest shown in Netflix. That gives an idea of how the terrestrial channels are not just winning the social media buzz contest -- they are absolutely smashing it. 

An interesting final point from the Kantar research shows that around a fifth of tweets coincide with the show being currently on the television. The market for second screeners, then, would appear to be alive and kicking.  However, when people are tweeting about what they are watching, it is clearly a reality or current affairs show.

This could tie in with why the BBC and ITV are so far ahead. Their shows are up there to be consumed live, as they are broadcast, and so lend themselves to a conversation which people can add to. A non-linear drama on Netflix or Amazon does not have this same sense of community because there is no schedule to follow, so viewers know people will be at different stages of binge watching and not looking to have that ruined by spoilers. 

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