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'Social TV' Boosts Live TV Viewing

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Active "social TV" viewers—people who watch television and simultaneously engage with others via social networks—tend to watch more live TV so they can be a part of social conversations in real time, according to a study by iModerate Research Technologies.

Social TV is also enabling viewers' desires to influence programming, via shared opinions and feedback to TV networks, posted on social networking sites.

Below, other findings from A Closer Look at Social TV, a report by iModerate Research Technologies. 

Among surveyed adults who engage in social TV at least weekly: 

  • 58% of heavy social media users (those who post to social networks more than 10 times a week) watch more live TV, whereas 42% of such viewers watch about the same amount of live TV.
  • 31% of less active social media users (those who post once a week) watch more live TV, whereas 55% watch about the same amount of live TV.


Social TV Gurus 

Social TV viewers are segmented into three unique personas, or "Social TV Gurus," and each persona comprises a distinct type of viewer, iModerate found:

Sports Nuts...

  • Are men age 25-54 who partake in social TV primarily for "big games."
  • Tend to post more than 5 times a week on social media and enjoy debating sports, razzing buddies, celebrating and venting about teams' successes and failures, and showing off their sports knowledge. 

Extroverts... 

  • Are men age 18-34 who have a vast network of virtual and personal friends all over the world.
  • Tend to make new friends online via chat rooms and posting about TV.
  • View online social network connections as "real" friends, even if they don't actually "know each other."

Girlfriends...

  • Are women age 24-44 who engage in social TV while watching dramas and reality shows. 
  • Tend to relate deeply to favorite shows and look forward to the "girls'-night-out" aspect of interacting with others via social TV.
  • Tend to become fans of brands for entertainment purposes, or to show support for brands, but not to obtain deals.

Influence of Social TV Viewers

Social TV enables viewers' desire to influence, and show support for, certain types of TV: 

  • 15% of social TV viewers cite "giving feedback to the television network," as their top reason for engaging in social TV.
  • 18% cite "showing support for the television program" as their top reason for engaging in social TV. 

Social TV viewers engage to share opinions, and strengthen relationships and connections:

  • 29% of social TV viewers engage in social TV primarily "to advise my network of friends and let them know what's good and bad." Women are more likely than men to share such opinions (36% vs. 21%).
  • 23% of social TV viewers engage in social TV primarily "to be connected with others who have similar television program likes and dislikes."

Top Social Channels, Activities

Most social TV activity takes place via status updates (91%) and commenting (62%) on Facebook. Fewer viewers interact via status updates and comments on Twitter, 38% and 27%, respectively.

Only 9% of social TV viewers use blogs to interact with others while watching TV.

About the research: Findings from iModerate's Social TV report are based on a survey of 150 adults age 18+, conducted in February 2012. Respondents consisted of TV viewers who spend at least one hour per week watching television and typically comment or post about programming at least once a week.


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