TV Show Discovery: On-Air Promos, Word-of-Mouth Still Strong, Social Media Growing

Although consumers have new ways to discover TV shows and movies, traditional awareness platforms -- TV network on-air promos and word-of-mouth marketing -- remain top tools of show discovery.

Fifty-three percent of respondents in a new fourth-quarter 2020 TiVo survey say they discovered new TV shows from commercials airing in other TV shows, while 46% say new show suggestions came from "word of mouth" -- from another person.

These numbers are only slightly down -- 2% and 3%, respectively -- from the survey of a year ago.

Two growing areas for show discovery are social media and electronic program guides (EPG) on a pay TV service, streaming app or other media.

Social media, which includes Facebook and Twitter, is at 34% (There is no data for social media from a year ago.) EPG program guides were at 28%, up 11 percentage points from a year ago.



The survey goes on to question where viewers then go to watch that new show after discovery.

Forty-seven percent cited a pay TV service (cable, satellite, or telco service); 40% to a subscription video-on-demand service (Netflix, Prime Video, or Hulu, for example); while 18% cited virtual pay TV providers (Sling TV, YouTube TV, or Hulu + Live TV); 15%, a pay TV provider video-on-demand platform; and 11%, free, over-the-air antenna broadcast TV.

TiVo’s fourth-quarter survey of 4,526 people in the U.S. and Canada, 18 years of age and older, was conducted by the third-party service.

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