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Social media conversations drive TV viewing in Australia

MUMBAI: A new research study in Australia conducted by Network Ten has found that social media conversations have a direct impact on television viewing. Half of the people who use social media each day said it influences the programmes they watch.

The Spotlight on Social TV report is the first research conducted in Australia to understand how social media is driving television viewing.

The research, which covered more than 1,000 people in the five mainland capital cities, clearly established that social media interactions play a growing role in what people choose to watch, how they watch it and when they watch it.

Network Ten head of research, analytics and inventory management Sarah Keith said, “Social media discussions are now a significant factor in television viewing decisions. Social media is the new water cooler. People want to discuss the television programmes they love in real time and social media is an ideal way to get into the conversation.

“Many Network Ten shows have been social media sensations this year, including ‘The Bachelor Australia’, ‘MasterChef Australia’ and ‘Offspring’. Ten already has more than 100 social media channels that collectively reach eight million followers, and Ten was the first Australian broadcaster to join Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings”.

The Spotlight on Social TV report reveals that about two-thirds of social media users have engaged in discussions and other interactions about specific television programmes.

“They are what we call the social media interactors and they are key influencers. The social media interactors want to be part of real-time discussions about television programmes: that is why more than a third of them watch programmes live at least once a week. Among the people whose viewing has been influenced by social media, more than 70 per cent are likely to watch a TV show if there is a lot of discussion about it on social media” added Keith.

The study shows that social media interactors aged 16 to 24 are more likely to favour reflex interactions (“like” or “favourite” a post), while older users are more likely to engage actively through commenting and initiating discussions.

“The Spotlight on Social TV report provides clear evidence that social media drives television viewing. Social media represents a great opportunity to deepen consumers’ engagement with and connection to Network Ten content.

“That is why Network Ten is committed to building our presence in social media. Creating shows that people talk about is only part of the story: we also need to understand what social media users need and want, and how we can increase conversations to the benefit of consumers and advertisers,” she said.

“We have known for a while that screen-stacking and disrupted viewing are the new norm. We have now clearly established with the Spotlight on Social TV report that engagement with programmes is part of the ongoing conversation. Our next step is working with our advertisers to help understand the context in which screens are being used in order to target appropriately,” Keith said.