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Social TV - 80% chat online with friends while watching the same show

Here’s another indicator that social networks like Facebook and Twitter plus mobile devices are changing what young people watch on TV

By PETER WHITE

Published: 17 March, 2011

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Here’s another indicator that social networks like Facebook and Twitter plus mobile devices are changing what young people watch on TV. It’s called Social TV or Second Screening and it has major implications for the TV networks, studios and pay TV companies as well as advertisers.

In a UK survey eight of 10 respondents under 25 said they used Twitter, Facebook or a mobile device to talk about and chat with their friends while they’re watching a TV show. The survey was carried out by Digital Clarity, which surveyed 1,300 British mobile Internet users below the age of 25.

One implication is that social networking is being used to influence what others watch because to chat about it, everyone needs to be watching the same show.

“Up until 12 months ago, TV was struggling to reach the younger market as more and more channels were becoming available,” Digital Clarity founder Reggie James said. “Social TV has changed this completely by turning programs into online events where you have to watch them as they happen.”

Digital Clarity said a Nielsen/Yahoo study in the US in 2010 found the trend established there. Over 86% of mobile Internet users choose to communicate with each other in real time during broadcasts.“The audience have already taken their seats and are ready to join the conversation,” James said. “It’s now up to the TV companies to tap into this huge and lucrative market.”

The Digital Clarity survey found the most popular communication methods were:

- Twitter with 72%

- Facebook at 56% (No wonder Warner Bros wants to rent movies on Facebook)

- Mobile apps were at 34%

- 62% said they liked all three

It found that respondents like the trend:

- 34% called it fun

- 32% said it made watching TV more interesting

- 42% liked the community aspect

Remember when the whole family sat around the TV and watched a TV show? Well, it’s coming back, kind of, except now it’s with remote friends. All that’s missing is getting Facebook and Twitter on the TV set although tablets serve the purpose well.

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