Are TV and Digital Still Going Steady?
October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
There is so much talk about the close relationship between television and your second screen but new reports show that the relationship may not always be as close as we think. We need to understand our target audience and what they are doing on that second screen.
We might think the top shows have the most Twitter traffic but that’s not always the case, it depends on the audience. While CBS had five of the top ten broadcast shows for the 2013-2014 season, they don’t have the most Twitter active crowd. You see, CBS has an older audience among networks, with a median viewer age of 58. And it follows, older adults use Twitter less. Pew Research says 9% of Americans 50-64 and 5% of those 65 and older used Twitter in 2013, compared to 31% of those 18-29 and 19% of those 30-49.
Who did have the highest Twitter traffic? Blockbuster events that cross many age groups like the Super Bowl, the Grammys and the Oscars score high on Twitter usage. The Super Bowl had 1.8 billion tweets and Ellen DeGeneres selfie-stunt was shared some 1.1 million times and even knocked Twitter offline for a few minutes. “Breaking Bad” had the highest traffic for a single airing of a show and of course, it was the finale. And that amazing Bryan Cranston had 6 million followers. Other popular Twitter shows include “Walking Dead”, “Pretty Little Liars”, “The Bachelor”, “Game of Thrones”, “Teen Wolf”, “American Horror Story”, “Scandal” and “Dancing with the Stars”. These shows have a younger audience and some of them use Twitter in an interesting way. Variety reports “The Voice” set a record for most tweets during their May 13 telecast. Some 1.92 million posted #VoiceSave to rescue their favorite contestant. Nielsen research shows the volume of tweets can relate to statistically significant increases in live ratings in some 39% of the episodes tested.
Twitter has their own study that says 48% of Twitter users said that after seeing a brand’s on-air ad they were more likely to remember seeing a tweet from that brand.
Television and the Second Screen
The most common use of digital is while we are watching TV, but it doesn’t always mean our activity is directly related to the show or ad we happen to have onscreen. According to 2014 Millard Brown study, some 78% of US internet users accessed second screens during shows, compared with 71% who did so during ads. And it seems that most of our second screen viewing happens during the show, not during previews, credits or commercials.
What are we doing online while watching TV? We are reading our email, checking into social media, texting, calling someone, searching online and shopping. Only some 4-7% of viewers are actually looking at the product being advertised. So, it seems that a large percentage of our second screen time is not triggered by the program or advertising calls to action. When we plan synergistic activities, we should understand our demographic and their online habits to know how best to interact with them.