Social media driving US TV viewing

Americans are increasingly integrating TV viewing with social media behaviour, according to a study by ratings agency Nielsen.

According to the study, a quarter of US TV viewers said they were more aware of TV programmes due to their social media interactions in a year-on-year comparison between 2012-13, with 15% of viewers in 2013 saying they enjoyed watching TV more when social media is involved.

Eleven per cent of viewers said they watched more live TV in 2013 than in 2012 as a result of social media, while 12% said they recorded more programmes. Fifteen per cent said they enjoyed TV more as a result of social media, while only 3% said they watched less as a result of spoilers.

The Nielsen survey also found growing use of second screens while watching TV on the main screen. Two thirds of tablet users and half of smartphone users said they surfed the web while watching TV, while 41% of tablet owners said shopping or looking up actors, plots and athletes were the top second screen activities they engaged in while watching TV, compared with 29% of smartphone owners.

Twenty-nine per cent of smartphone users emailed and texted friends about programmes while watching TV, compared with 23% of tablet owners, while 18% of tablet owners said they read discussions about TV programmes on social media, compared with 12% of smartphone owners.

Seven per cent of smartphone owners and 14% of tablet owners bought a product or service advertised on TV while watching, while 9% of smartphone owners and 12% of tablet owners voted or sent comments to live programmes.

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