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State of cable and digital media

The 19th annual State of Cable and Digital Media study, which has just been released to study clients, documents the extent to which social media is transforming the way TV viewers hear about, engage with, and communicate about television content.  Four in ten (39%) TV viewers with Internet access have turned to the Internet to search for more information or trivia about something they saw on TV at least occasionally; 16% always/frequently do so.  Almost one-quarter (23%) also say they at least occasionally visit the websites or apps of their favorite shows to engage with extra content.

The study is beginning to measure and track the “water cooler” effect of social media as an important vehicle to promote television shows and brands.  According to the study, 19% of TV viewers with Internet access have started watching a show because they heard about it through social media or the blogosphere, increasing to 23% among 18-34 year-old viewers.  And, one in ten (10%) have posted on social media about a show or movie they saw—13% among the 18-34 set. Among these younger viewers, 8% at least occasionally interact about a show on social media in real time, at the same time as they are watching the show (see chart).

“The potential power of social media to drive TV viewership—and perhaps even to drive consumers back to live, real-time viewing—is enormous,” notes Adriana Waterston, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Horowitz Associates.  “But media brands and marketers will need to figure out how to do it right.  As we heard in our recent Viewing the Viewer videography, consumers don’t want to feel ‘marketed to’—they want to feel in control of their social media experience,” adds Waterston.

Now in its 19th year, State of Cable and Digital Media is an annual, syndicated survey of television households published by Horowitz Associates Market and Multicultural Research.  The study tracks key trends in consumer behaviors towards and adoption of new television, broadband, and mobile technologies.  National and Multicultural Editions are available for purchase.  Contact Adriana Waterston (adrianaw@horowitzassociates.com, 914-834-5999) for information.

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