News Column

Social Media Blends With TV Watching Among Younger Viewers

Sept. 4, 2012

Staff --

Horowitz study

Social media has a substantial influence on the television viewing habits of 15- to 17-year-olds, a new study by Horowitz Associates has found.

The study, Multiplatform Content and Services 2012 edition, found that 24 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 30 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds will watch a show on TV because of something they saw online or on social media, compared to 16 percent of all adults over 18 who were surveyed.

The study comes amid growing concerns about ad-skipping and alternative media platforms, and was designed to discover how social media drives consumers back to live TV.

"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' vice president 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."

According to the study, 14 percent of social media users say social media helps them remember to tune into shows they want to watch. That rises to 19 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds and 28 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds.

Interacting with other viewers through social media is also important, with 12 percent of users saying it makes their TV shows more enjoyable, with the numbers rising to 14 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds and 20 percent among 15- to 17-year-olds.

One in 10 consumers interact with TV through social media sits and apps, posting to social media sites or other websites about shows they watch.

However, Waterston warns, social media users "do not want to feel 'marketed to' or manipulated. A successful social media or interactive strategy must feel genuine, not fabricated."

The takeaway? Younger, social media savvy viewers are more likely to actively engage with TV content.

Here's the study's data chart.

Here's the study itself: Multiplatform Content and Services 2012 edition.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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