Viacom released a study a few months ago on social television usage that I’ve been meaning to write about, because I think it represents a critical behavioral change in TV viewing that will impact many a brand’s marketing decision. In a nutshell, a Viacom survey found that 56% of respondents use social apps on mobile devices to interact with friends while watching their favorite TV programs. In other words, over half of those interviewed (the survey represented a reasonable distribution of the TV viewing audience) are engaging in some form of social interaction with a mobile device while watching their favorite TV shows.
The Viacom survey, “Social TV: Viewers C’s the Moment,” notes that viewers engage in an average of seven different types of social TV activities (online or offline) on at least a weekly basis. The most common activities include watching TV with others (85%), searching for supplemental content (61%) and viewing TV show clips on social networks (58%).¹
What are people doing on mobile devices that makes their TV viewing experience “social?” Communicating, consuming content, and checking comments.