Thursday, 24 January 2013

What we watch shapes how we watch

Data released by Twitter recently has shown how the type of content we are watching can impact our second screen social media activity. For example, if people are watching a gripping drama like Homeland, they are far less likely to tweet at the same time. On the flip side, if it’s a light entertainment show like X Factor, people will consistently tweet throughout the show with peaks in Twitter activity directly linked to specific contestant performances. Meanwhile investigative shows like Panorama stimulate prolonged Twitter activity with viewers discussing it during the show but also after it has finished.

The report is targeted at advertisers however it also contains valuable information for the wider TV industry; consumers no longer just passively watch TV, Twitter adds a new dimension to the viewing experience. We are likely to see more TV shows actively encouraging viewers to go online whilst the show is on.

Broadcasters already trail hashtags before shows, but this is just the start. They are now using Twitter to evaluate the performance of shows, and it will be fascinating to see how this data is used and impacts programming and additional, associated content in the future.

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