Study Shows Social Networking Feeds Americans' Hunger for Television

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Viewership of TV Shows and Movies via the Internet on a TV Set Reaches Double Digits

Do you currently watch TV shows and/or movies using the following devices or services?

These findings underscore the potential ‘water cooler’ effect social networking sites can have, as well as the opportunities for television programmers and advertisers to interact with viewers in an even more meaningful way.

According to a study* released today by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), 79 percent of regular social networkers say they would be likely to watch a television show based on a recommendation from a friend via a social networking site. With 33 percent of regular social networkers reporting they were made aware of a new television show because of something they saw on a social networking site, the impact of social media on influencing TV viewership is evident.

“Over one-half of adults who visited social networking sites in the past month visited them every day,” said Char Beales, president and CEO, CTAM. “These findings underscore the potential ‘water cooler’ effect social networking sites can have, as well as the opportunities for television programmers and advertisers to interact with viewers in an even more meaningful way.”

While supplemental to linear viewing, growth in cross-platform viewership points to the true value and power of the Internet and social networking sites in content marketing and, moreover, illustrates positive signs for viewership growth and audience engagement.

It’s been 80 years since television became commercially available and today this study finds that 80 percent of those who are also consuming content through nonlinear viewing platforms such as DVRs, the Internet and Video on Demand still report watching either the same amount or more regularly scheduled television on the TV set.

“It’s no surprise that the majority of American viewers still prefer to view content on a television set,” said Clay Collier, vice president of research, CTAM. “But what this study shows is an emerging trend that says the love affair with television programming transcends the television set, as consumers report accessing content on a wide variety of platforms.”

Still these data show the preference for the big screen and the love of programming are driving segments of the population to access TV/movie content via the Internet on the TV set so they can truly see what they want, the way they want it. Of those who consume movies, programs and other content on their television set and via the Internet (10%) or video game consoles (11%), like Xbox360 or PS3, nearly two-thirds are male with an average age of 31 and 35, respectively. Roughly 40 percent of these viewers report watching more TV shows in the past six months on these devices.    

Additionally 39 percent of those who do not currently connect their TVs to their computers are interested in doing so. CTAM will investigate the drivers behind these behaviors in a future study: Life is a Stream: Understanding Consumers’ Viewership of Internet Video on TV.

*CTAM Tracking Study, Wave 5, Exploring Evolving Trends in Viewership, conducted in collaboration with Nielsen from Nov. 30 to Dec 11, 2009, with a total of 1,500 respondents ages 18+ and 500 teens, ages 13-17.

CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, is dedicated to helping the cable business grow. As a non-profit professional association, CTAM provides consumer research, interactive educational opportunities, publications, conferences and the CTAM SmartBrief to 5,000 individual members. On behalf of its 90 corporate members, the organization leads the Advanced Cable Solutions Consortium and facilitates national cooperative marketing efforts, including the Cable Mover Hotline™ and the Solutions for Small Business initiative. For more information, go to http://www.ctam.com. CTAM is also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Inquiries Contact:
Jason D. King, ABC
Director, Communications and Media Relations
Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM)
703.837.6541

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