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June 30, 2011

TV-social media connect is growing: eMarketer

Twitter most popular in socialising TV in real time

By CBR Staff Writer

Online reseacrh firm eMarketer has said that the social media – television connect is a small but growing base, with a larger part comprising the youth.

The number of people using Facebook and Twitter to comment on television shows is increasing.

According to a study by the firm, 43% of online adults have gone online or used social media to engage with TV programming in some way, and 17% said they do it while they are watching TV.

eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, "Socialising the TV Experience", Debra Aho Williamson, said experimentation still rules the day.

However, Aho Williamson also added that the extent to which the two will converge in future is unknown.

Aho Williamson said, "There is a great deal of uncertainty about the paths that social media and TV will take, and the extent to which they will converge over time."

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According to the report, the youngest respondents in the 24/7 and Harris survey — those ages 18 to 34 — were significantly more likely than older respondents to have made the social/TV connection.

It also said that TV brands such as shows and interviews are increasingly becoming popular in the social media. Twitter is the leader in socialising TV in real time.

Williamson added that timeshifting poses a potential obstacle in the convergence of TV and social media.

"Given the amount of activity surrounding social media and TV, some level of convergence is inevitable," said Williamson.

"But trends like timeshifting pose a potential obstacle — there’s not much pleasure in sharing your thoughts about a show when you’re watching it after it first aired. For the networks, social media may be one of the last best ways to bring viewers back together again."

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