Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Social TV and Fandom

A new poll looked at how TV viewers combine their viewing with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.  In a March 2012 online survey, they asked about the reasons they engaged in "Social TV" activity.  The most common responses in 2012 were keeping their favorite shows on air (78%), informing friends of what shows they watched (61%).  When watching major live TV events, more people engaged in Social TV activity to find out what others were saying about the event (69%) than wanted to share their own thoughts (33%).  And reflecting other studies of mobile and tablet use, a large proportion (40%) of Social TV users did so while watching TV, although the activity could also occur before (53%) or after (95%) the program as well.
There was no mention in the article as to whether the survey samples were random or even representative, so treat the numbers as indicators rather than generalizable facts.

Source - Social TV Fans Driven By Desire To Keep Shows On The Air: Survey, Multichannel News


  1. This concept of 'Social TV and Fandom' can be directly linked to my final project proposal. My proposal for ‘The Next Big Thing’ involves the new apple tv, which offers airplay mirror with the new iOS mountain lion. I truly believe that this product is ‘the next big thing.’ Consumers will be able to access apps and Internet through their televisions. With Internet access on their televisions, consumers will be able to engage in such activities as ‘watch their favorite television series.’ Cable and satellite subscriptions will, therefore, become a thing of the past. Televisions screens will begin to replica iPad, phone, and laptop screens, as they will appear and function the same way. Everything will be done through the Internet.
    So how does this tie into this article about ‘Social TV and Fandom?’ Currently, consumers are watching their favorite television shows on their television sets. Then, the consumers will hop on their laptops, iPads, or phones to publish their opinions on the Internet (whether it be via Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Once this new product is up and running, however, consumers will be able to do all of that through their televisions. Consumers will be able to watch their favorite shows on their televisions, as well publish their opinions via social networks, through their televisions.

  2. As an avid television watcher and contributor to social media, I can say that this study is accurate. I watch close to 90% of the television programs that I watch on netflix, dvr, or just on site like hulu. Websites like twitter allow you to contribute to the programs. The hashtags and specific program twitter handles offer previews for new episodes, scenes, and more.

  3. As an active user of Twitter and Facebook, this study is clearly accurate. I do not watch "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice", but I regularly have a pretty good idea what is going on in these reality shows due to the fact that everyone who does watch these immediately tweets their opinions or writes how upset they are that are that some girl got kicked off the show. Another aspect that social media brings to people is that they can follow something such as a sporting event without ever watching it. Ten years ago when you had to be somewhere and were recording a golf match or a football game and you did not want to hear the outcome of the event, you could stay away and hopefully miss the news coverage before watching your recording. Today, if you turn on your phone you will know not only the outcome of the games but probably every little thing that happened. With this massive correlation between social media and television, I can see where one might think it will be combined, but I don't think anyone will ever be tweeting from their televisions. Maybe you will be able to access Hulu straight from your television, but I don't see social media being used through the TV.

  4. I completely agree with the above comments. Television viewing has a huge impact on social media and vice versa. Most programs have some type of "Fan Page" on Facebook or in some cases have several handles on Twitter. Many people involved in the production of a particular program (i.e. actors, directors, writers and even the network itself) will send out tweets or Facebook posts asking viewers directly for their opinions on the developments of each episode. This not only gives invaluable feedback to the creators of the show but also gets a significant amount of buzz built around a show just by getting people to talk about it online.

    I've noticed several people will "live blog" episodes by tweeting their reactions in real time or using hashtags to become part of the conversation. This creates an unprecedented link between consumers and the program itself which strengthens viewer loyalty. I don't know if I believe that viewers' social media habits will have an effect on the viability of a program, but I do think that it's the easiest and quickest way to build and maintain buzz about a show.

  5. I agree with the commenters above. The study is completely accurate in my opinion. For example, I didn't watch the Masters and had it not been for Facebook or twitter I would have no knowledge it was even going on. Thanks to twitter I knew within five minutes of Bubba Watson winning. It seems odd to think of what consuming media was like ten years for someone growing up in my generation because we have come to expect and offer our opinions with no request for them.
    -Rachel Cade

  6. I do agree with everyone else. I used to be really big into watching reality shows like American Idol, The Bachelor, or any other big time popular show. Now that I don't keep up with it as much, Facebook and Twitter always informs me about what's happing. I've never seen an episode of The Voice, but I know which contestant is always eliminated due to people tweeting or facebooking their opinions about the show. With people expressing their opinions on social media, this allows people to catch up with programs without watching it.