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Consumers Create Own Social TV Experiences

Facebook, group texts and social TV apps are popular for interaction

May 31, 2012

Consumers are turning to social media and other online sources to socialize their TV-viewing experience, chatting with others about shows, playing games, using check-in services, finding supplemental information and more.

Viacom Media Networks surveyed US internet users in January 2012 and found that many make TV watching social through on and offline means. Of respondents, 85% watched television in the same room as another person, while 61% searched for supplemental content online, 58% watched video clips on social networks, 57% chatted with friends about the show via text and the same percentage accessed information on sites like IMBD.com or Wikipedia.

TV-Related Activities of US Internet Users, Jan 2012 (% of respondents)

The study also found that around 41% of respondents were interested in or were already using websites and apps that allowed them to chat with others about TV shows. Of those respondents, 56% said that, if their favorite TV show launched a social TV app, they would be interested in a chat function directly through that app, while 53% would prefer to use Facebook chat. Half of respondents would use text messaging or group texting and 38% said they would use Skype to discuss that TV show.

Looking at when viewers are participating in these social TV activities, it depends on the type of content or activity. Checking in to a show, through an app such as GetGlue, generally happens before or during a show, while searching for extra information or playing games most often takes place during ad breaks or after the show.

Time During Show When US Internet Users* Expect to Use Select Social TV Features, Jan 2012 (% of respondents)

Consumers want to make watching TV a more social activity and social media allows them to do so from the comfort of their couches. Users are turning to several sites and applications to extend their viewing experience and will continue to do so as TV shows and networks provide added value and content on social networks.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Is Pinterest Really Leading to Product Purchases?” and “Smartphones a Primary Access Device in Emerging Markets.”

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