LONDON: The relationship between television and social media could become more competitive as these channels vie for audiences and adspend, a study has suggested.

Deloitte and YouGov surveyed 4,199 British adults to gain insight into whether they regarded broadcast networks and the new breed of digital services as being complementary - or in conflict.

Some 40% of participants were Facebook members, but just 7% had signed up as fans of their favourite TV shows on this or another similar platform.

The latter figure climbed to 46% among 18-24 year olds, around 40% of which said they posted comments at least "occasionally."

As a result, the Deloitte/YouGov report suggested it is therefore no surprise that television content made with this demographic in mind now incorporates a presence on a variety of Web 2.0 sites as "standard".

According to Howard Davies, a media partner at Deloitte, electronic word of mouth was rapidly growing into a vital tool for broadcasters and brands.

"If social chatter is sufficiently voluminous this catalyses a snowball effect as traditional and new media pick up on the story," he said.

"This typically raises the value of content. A programme with strong social currency is generally of greater appeal to advertisers as it means their brand becomes associated with content that is both watched and talked about."

However, Davies added the power of properties such as Twitter to positively influence TV viewing levels, and perceptions of any attendant spots, had proved somewhat narrow to date.

"The majority of programmes with the highest ratings and adverts with the greatest recall have succeeded despite not having also been social media/network sensations," he said.

Indeed, 52% of those polled believed TV ads were more memorable than the alternatives, falling to 10% for print, 2% for online video and 1% for both web banners and executions on the iPhone or iPad.

Among the panellists with DVRs, 86% typically fast-forwarded through spots when playing back recorded programmes.

Shorter ad breaks were mentioned by 48% of people as a tool that could encourage them not to do so, with more memorable campaigns on 32% and shorter ads on 17%.

Looking ahead, Davies predicted the rivalry between established and emerging formats for advertising budgets and eyeballs is likely to intensify.

This is because consumers are dedicating more time to the net, where they can access an expanding range of official and user-generated video, offering targeting and measurability benefits to marketers.

Davies said: "The phenomenal pace at which social media and social networks have become entrenched within our everyday lives raises the question of their possible long-term impacts on television.

"The current relationship can be characterised as predominantly complementary, but limited in reach. The future relationship may be more adversarial, with advertising the battleground."

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff