Australia: Social TV on the rise

Research from Nielsen’s 2014 Australian Connected Consumers Report shows the number of online Aussies aged over 16 engaging in Social TV (posting comments or reading others’ comments about the TV content they are viewing) is growing, with close to half (44 per cent) participating in 2013 – an increase of seven percentage points versus the previous year.

And this is no fad. The increasing ownership of portable, convenient, connected devices creates the perfect set up for a ‘second screen’ experience, resulting in some of the most influential conversations out there—so much in fact that TV programmers are integrating hashtags and social conversations directly into their shows.

In addition to the reach of social TV, the frequency of participation has also increased. Nearly one in five online Australians partake in social TV activity on at least a weekly basis (17 per cent), up from 11 per cent in 2012.

More than one in three consumers aged 16-24 read other peoples’ comments about TV or movie content on a weekly basis, or more often; 31 per cent post comments themselves at least weekly.

Taking an interest in other people’s opinions about TV content and personalities remains the most prevalent motivation for social TV participation. Content that people ‘feel strongly about’ has also emerged as an important driver of online social behaviour. It is a slightly stronger motivation for older audiences (27 per cent) as well as younger audiences (25 per cent).

For these savvy, confident dual-screeners, extending their TV involvement across screens is becoming second nature. Today’s media owners and brands must continue to innovate in their quest to capitalise on dual-screening behaviour and deliver enhanced audience engagement with programmes and advertising.

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