The growing impact of social media on viewership and loyalty to the television platform is a core focus of Horowitz Associates’ latest consumer survey, Multiplatform Content and Services 2012 edition. Social media disproportionately impacts the viewing behaviours of younger consumers: One-quarter (24 per cent) of 18-34 year old adults and 30 per cent of 15-17 year olds have started watching a show on TV because of something they saw online or through social media, compared to 16 per cent of total 18+ adult consumers surveyed.
Amid concerns about time-shifting, ad-skipping, and alternative platforms, the study reveals social media’s potential to drive consumers to live TV. 14 per cent of social media users surveyed agree that social media helps them remember to tune into shows they want to watch, rising to 19 per cent among 18-34 year-old adult social media users and 28 per cent of 15-17 year-old social media users. Furthermore, 12 per cent of social media users say interacting with other viewers through social media makes their TV shows more enjoyable (14 per cent among 18-34 year olds and 20 per cent among 15-17 year olds).
Horowitz Associates notes that over 1 in 10 consumers (11 per cent) say they find themselves actively interacting — through social media or some other site/app — with content they are watching on TV, and 10 per cent say they enjoy posting to social media sites or other websites about shows they watch. Younger viewers are more likely to actively engage with TV content. These findings highlight the opportunity to strengthen network viewership and loyalty through a strong social media presence and interactive apps/sites designed to enhance the TV experience.
“Harnessing the power of social media and social interactivity with TV is essential in order to keep younger viewers engaged with the live TV experience,” notes Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’ VP of Marketing and Business Development. “It’s not as easy as it sounds, because social media is inherently organic, about personal empowerment and community-building. In the social media environment, consumers do not want to feel ‘marketed to’ or manipulated. A successful social media or interactive strategy must feel genuine, not fabricated.”