Advanced Television

Social Media drives engagement and discovery

October 25, 2013

Horowitz Associates’ latest consumer survey among broadband Internet users 15+, Multiplatform Content & Services 2013, highlights the undeniable benefits of a strong social media presence in cultivating loyal, active network viewership, particularly among younger age groups.

Younger viewers are the most socially engaged with their TV content; nearly one-third (30 per cent) of online 15-17 year-olds and one-quarter (25 per cent) of 18-34 year-olds post comments to social media sites about the shows they watch at least occasionally, compared to 10 per cent among those over 35.  Among broadband Internet users 15-17, 26 per cent post comments about what they are watching at the same time they are watching, compared to 17 per cent of 18-34 year-olds and 6 per cent of 35+.

“Now, more than ever, we can see that harnessing the power of social media and TV-viewing interaction is playing a key role in keeping younger viewers engaged with the live TV experience,” explains Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’ SVP of Marketing and Business Development.

Importantly, social media also plays a role in driving show discovery and tune-in, particularly among younger viewers.  More than one-third of broadband Internet users 18-34 and 15-17 say they discover new shows to watch through social media at least occasionally (37 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively), compared to 19 per cent among 35+.  Furthermore, a full 42 per cent of online 15-17 year-olds and nearly one-third (29 per cent) of 18-34 year-olds say that social media helps them remember to tune into shows (vs. 15 per cent of 35+).

Waterston notes, “While social media has the potential to drive engagement, show discovery, and tune-in, it also has the potential to distract viewers.  The trick now is for networks and shows to facilitate an organic and genuine social media experience that engages their viewers, develops brand loyalty, and enhances the viewing experience, rather than distracting from the content.”  Currently, more than half (53 per cent) of broadband Internet users 18+ say they find it distracting when networks display social media comments on-screen and almost half (48 per cent) say even just displaying hash tags is distracting, this is lower among online 15-17 year-olds, but still sizeable (44 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively).

Beyond social media usage, Multiplatform Content & Services 2013 also uncovers consumer behaviours around alternative platform viewing, content viewed by platform, impact on multichannel subscription, second screen companion app usage, and more.


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