The top 30 UK TV series, excluding live sports and news, account for 50% all measured UK Twitter TV activity and 9% of viewing volume, according to a study of Twitter use related by TV by Kantar Media.
Based on a year’s worth of data from Twitter and audience research bureau BARB, the study found that Twitter activity has a direct, positive influence on viewing figures during broadcast for 11% of programmes, boosting audiences by an estimated 2% during those shows.
The X-Factor delivered 9.4m Tweets over the year, winning the title for highest annual number of Tweets for a series and accounting for 8.6% of all TV related Tweets across the year and 25% of all Tweets in the weeks it was on air. The Most Tweeted about drama programme was the 50th anniversary edition of Doctor Who with 501,000 Tweets.
According to the study, TV Tweet levels broadly correlate with TV channel shares and viewing figures across a broad time period, although some channels over-perform on Twitter relative to audience share. Of the TV Tweets analysed, there was a noticeable skew towards entertainment, talent shows, constructed reality, documentaries, soaps, special events and some dramas, including Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, where there is a cult or younger following.
The study found that Twitter TV activity correlates with audience size at a broad level: the shows with the largest volume of Twitter TV activity tend to have higher audiences. However smaller shows can gain disproportionate levels of Twitter activity if they are ‘social TV friendly’, for example encouraging participation or skewing to a younger audience.