Nielsen: Second Screen, Social Media Boosts TV Viewing

August 5, 2014 · Posted in Uncategorized 

By Chris Tribbey

Using second screen devices and social media is having a positive impact on how viewers interact with TV content, according to new data from Nielsen.

A full quarter of respondents to Nielsen’s study said they were more aware of TV programs thanks to social media interactions with the second screen, and most every other major metric regarding how social media impacts consumers and TV content (i.e. engagement, enjoyment, recording more programs and watching live TV) was up year over year.

But assuming that consumers are using the second screen solely to relate to the content on the living room screen is a leap: among U.S. second screen users older than 13, more than 66% of tablet users and 49% of smartphone users said surfing the Web was the No. 1 activity they engage with while watching their favorite shows.

Forty-one percent of tablet owners told Nielsen they look up content related to the content on the screen, nothing to laugh about if you’re a content owner looking for second screen interactions. However, a higher percentage of tablet owners (44%) said they were just as likely to be shopping on their tablet.

In fact, it was only in the category of texting or emailing a friend about a program that smartphone users surpassed tablet users in terms of what second screen device users do while watching TV content (tablet owners shop more, check scores more often and are more likely to vote during a live program).

Nielsen’s report also relayed an interesting component with how ethnic viewers use social media to interact with TV. “ … Compared to national averages, a greater percent of African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics report watching more live TV, being aware of more programs, recording programs, and enjoying television more as a result of social media,” Nielsen’s report reads.

Because of social media, Hispanic viewers have the highest rate of program awareness (32%), TV enjoyment (26%) and live TV engagement (18%) compared to all non-white groups.

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