BERLIN: Just under 20% of Germany's internet audience discuss TV programmes on social networks as they are broadcast, part of a growing trend towards simultaneous media use in the country.

BITKOM, the trade body, and Goldmedia, the insights provider, polled 2,000 web users, and found that 18% had conversations about TV shows via social networks or chat rooms in real time.

Of this group, a 51% majority used laptops for the conversations. Another 35% used desktop PCs and 21% smartphones.

"The use of social networks while watching television is becoming a megatrend," said Michael Schidlack, of BITKOM. "Television is no longer just on the TV set. Instead, programmes are discussed before, during and after broadcast on social networks."

In keeping with this process, the study discovered that German television series have received over 18m "likes" on Facebook. Soap operas and talent shows are especially popular here, it added.

Turning to Twitter, German series have accumulated a total of 1.2m followers to date, as well as generating significant buzz among a wider range of the microblog's membership base.

More broadly, 77% of interviewees agreed they often watched TV alongside browsing the internet, demonstrating that simultaneous media use is becoming an increasingly mainstream activity.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff