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TV and Twitter Tie Into One Another To Enrich The Viewing Experience

British Youth are part of a trend that could influence the way TV and social media interact and are delivered throughout the globe in the future.

Digital Clarity published a survey this week which showed that the demographic of mobile internet consumers under twenty five use their phones androids and Blackberries to talk to friends about the show they are watching.  This trend could affect the way advertising is delivered and the format that Tv schedules and indeed the format of the shows themselves, Digital clarity said.

The study found that eight from ten people use their phones to access Twitter, Facebook and other mobile apps to comment on the show and to talk with their friends as it was being broadcast. American Idol recently allowed viewers to vote with a limited number of ballots via Facebook for its new season meaning that even if you’re not watching the show, say you’re at a club for example, your friends can message you to vote to keep in or strategically vote off performers that they want.

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

The advent of Social TV brings both challenges and opportunities, advertisers and producers are discovering a new marketplace which will need a different style of production and delivery if it’s to be affective as a marketing and entertainment platform.

The British experience mirrors the American where a study found that over 86% of mobile internet consumers talk to each other in real time during the show’s broadcast. In an experiment HBO ran the movie Private Parts, the film was partnered with a live commentary by the star and man the film was based upon, Howard Stern. The viewing figures far outstripped what would normally be expected for a movie originally released 14 years ago. The trend of “second Screening” as it is known is now becoming more and more commonplace on either side of the Atlantic.

One respondent said in interview that it allowed him to keep in touch with his friends no matter where they were: “They are in different towns to me but it’s like having them round to watch TV,” he said. “We share a lot of jokes and if I comment on something funny or stupid I get replies almost immediately.”

The survey further discovered that the most common method to comment on the shows as they were being watched was to Twitter (72%), Facebook (56%) and mobile applications (34%). 62% of Social TV users used a combination of the three.

A third of those interviewed for the survey said that they thought the trend of commenting on TV as it happened was ‘fun’ another third said that it made Tv ‘more interesting,’ 42% said that they felt the trend was about maintaining a sense of community.

Shows which were most likely to be Socialised were shows which typically provide the most water cooler moments, the thing being that people could talk about them instantly rather than talking about them in school or college the next day. These shows include competitions like  X Factor, controversial series like Skins and multi-issue singalongs, Glee being the main example. Soap operas also lend themselves to second screening as people love to discuss the issues being raised.

If the trend continues to grow and spread into other regions it could be a real game changer with broadcast TV tying into social media platforms rather than trying to compete for attention.

Dan Cash watches TV from behind a pile of old computer parts, it just sort of came apart in his hands as he was unhooking the external hard drive, honest!

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2 Replies

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