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One in five Americans reached by ‘social TV’

Some 19% of online Americans aged 15 to 54 are reached by social media relating to primetime TV at least once a day, according to new research by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE).

The study said that this included people who see something or post something about a primetime TV show on Facebook or Twitter, with 16% of primetime TV viewing occasions involving “some interaction with social media.”

During 7.3% of primetime TV viewing instances, the viewer is engaging with social media specifically about the show being viewed, which the study defined as “socially connected viewing.”

The CRE said that socially connected viewing is most evident with new TV shows and sports programming, with viewers also more likely to engage on Facebook than Twitter. On 11.4% of primetime TV viewing occasions, viewers used Facebook, while on 3.3% of occasions, they used Twitter, according to the study.

“The majority of viewing remains live and on traditional TV sets,  but we do see that social media use has a stronger relationship with the newer platforms and behaviours. This is evidence that social media is an important part of the new ways that people are consuming television content,” said Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, market resources, Discovery Communications, who also chairs the CRE’s Social Media Committee.