Few online TV viewers use Twitter

8 September 2014

BOSTON: Just one-fifth (18%) of online TV viewers follow the shows they're watching via Twitter, according to a new study that also identifies six main types of TV viewers.

The report, "To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Segmenting Today's Multiscreen TV Audience" by market research firm Strategy Analytics, found only two types of online TV viewer engage with Twitter.

Traditional TV viewers, who the report describes as "couch potatoes", make up 33% of viewers and never phone or text people about what they're watching and hardly ever use social media.

"Couch chatterers", who account for 12% of TV viewers, are described as being similar to "couch potatoes" in that none of this group uses Twitter to follow a show they're watching, although they are more than twice as likely as the average viewer to phone or text others.

The second largest group identified in the report are "OTTers", who account for 26% of people. They are said to be less interested in TV, preferring to catch up later using OTT services.

About a third of TV viewers are classified as "multi-screeners", who Strategy Analytics sub-divides into three groups – indifferent, moderate and manic multi-screeners.

"Indifferent" multi-screeners are the least interested in TV of all six types, the report said, and 83% use another device while watching TV. However, more than nine-in-ten (91%) use Twitter to follow a show.

By contrast, while "moderate" multi-screeners are very likely (93%) to phone or text about a show, only 1% use Twitter on a weekly basis to follow a show.

Meanwhile, "manic" multi-screeners, who account for just 7% of viewers, are the most likely (96%) to phone or text about a show and to use Twitter on a weekly basis.

David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics, said broadcasters and advertisers need to learn the intricacies about the relationship between TV and new devices.

"The traditional way broadcasters and advertisers have discussed TV audiences for 70 years – by age and gender – is becoming increasingly irrelevant and outdated," he explained.

"People within a traditional group, say 18-24 year-old men, can watch TV in completely different ways so new behaviours are as important as demographics when it comes to planning for all elements within the TV industry – whether content, scheduling or advertising," he added.

Data sourced from Strategy Analytics; additional content by Warc staff