At last night’s Oscars Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a selfie that quickly became the top tweet of all time.
This isn’t really all that surprising.
We’ll likely continue seeing record-breaking social stats whenever there’s a major live TV event. That’s because posting and sharing on social networks about TV is an extremely popular activity, especially around big events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl.
TV networks love social TV because it helps bring back viewers who might otherwise turn away from watching TV at broadcast. Social networks love it because it creates an enormous advertising opportunity, a chance to siphon off dollars from massive TV ad budgets.
But up until now, social TV, also known as “second-screen activity,” has been a highly fragmented space, and that’s made it difficult to capitalise on the trend.
Standalone TV apps are going away, as a slew of different social TV services whittle down to a select few, and big-time social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, push further into social TV.
BI Intelligence has found that people do love using their phones and checking social media as they watch TV. But that doesn’t mean that they want to watch program-related content on their devices. In the report, we take stock of how far the social TV industry has come, and what will define it in the future. We look at mobile-social behaviour and how it overlaps with the second-screen trend, and reveal the data behind consumer shopping on mobile for products they see advertised on TV.
Here are some highlights from our recent report on the second screen trend:
- In the first quarter of 2013, 46% of U.S. smartphone owners and 40% of tablet owners said they used their devices while watching TV on a daily basis. Nine months earlier, only 39% of smartphone owners had reported doing so.
- But are these mobile activities actually related to what’s on TV? Some are. Fifty-three per cent of consumers with tablets or smartphones have engaged in mobile-based activity related to what they’re watching on TV, according to an early 2013 NPD survey.
- The dominant social networks are making a push to tie themselves to TV. Twitter has an ambitious strategy for capitalising on second screen behaviour and tying it into the rest of its ad ecosystem, but it may be overstating tweets’ impact on TV ratings.
- Buying products being advertised has become a surprisingly popular activity. 20 per cent of second screen audiences on tablets and 13% of those on smartphones reported doing so, according to Nielsen.
- The volume of TV-related social media comments in the U.S. surged 363% over the course of 2012.
- A wave of consolidation will wash through the second screen ecosystem this year as big tech players wake up to its importance and its unique place bridging the digital-TV divide.
The full report provides in-depth analysis and detailed data on these trends, including a dozen charts with underlying data sets that subscribers can download and use in spreadsheet format.
In full, the report:
- Breaks down Twitter’s findings that certain genres — reality TV in particular — are more susceptible to ratings effects from tweets
- Explains why the second screen will be about encouraging activity, like commenting about a show on social media
- Analyses all the data and trend-lines in terms of consumer adoption of second screen behaviour
- Examines why stand-alone social TV apps may be suffering from a “Foursquare problem,” building a service around a feature like TV show check-ins rather than a deep experience
- Looks at why the second screen is perhaps the best way to bridge digital and TV
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