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Social Media is twice as effective in attracting viewers to new versus existing shows in the US

MUMBAI: One of every six times a viewer in the US is watching primetime TV, that viewer is also using social media, according to a Council for Research Excellence (CRE) study. About half of social media activity while users are watching TV relates to the TV programming.

Social media appeared twice as effective for attracting viewers to new shows (6.8 per cent) as returning shows (3.3 per cent).

Social media activity about new shows peaks around show premieres. Specials, indexing at 212, sci-fi, at 152, and sports at 129, lead among genres in socially connected TV viewing.

Social media is still exceeded by traditional TV promos, which were at least three times as influential in helping viewers find new shows, according to the study results.

These are among many findings from the CRE’s recently completed study, “Talking Social TV 2,” a follow-up to the CRE’s 2013 “Talking Social TV” study. This newest study was conducted for the CRE during the fall 2013 TV season by a research team from Keller Fay Group and fielded by Nielsen Life360. The findings were gleaned from more than 78,000 mobile-app diary entries submitted by nearly 1,700 study participants (age 15-54), across a broad set of demographics, permitting case studies on some 1,600 shows.

Discovery senior VP market resources Beth Rockwood, who chairs the CRE’s Social Media Committee, said, “Social media definitely has become established as a ‘second-screen’ for a select group of viewers. Social marketing seems effective in generating conversation around new season premieres, particularly with certain genres of programming.”

The study provides these findings, among others, regarding demographics:
– The profile of someone interacting daily with TV via social media skews 58% female and 20 per cent Hispanic, with a median age of 35;

– Hispanics are the demographic group most engaged with social TV while viewers are watching, indexing at 143;

– 10 per cent of the time an Hispanic viewer is watching a primetime TV show, the viewer is using social media in connection with that show;

– Facebook social-TV users skew female and Hispanic, and aged 35-44; Twitter users were found to be more evenly split by gender and among Hispanics and African Americans and more skewed to the 15-24 and 25-34 age groups.

The CRE is an independent research group created in 2005 and funded by Nielsen.