New TV and social media trend among the youth: study

Tue Mar 8, 2011 2:59pm EST
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Young Britons have taken to a new television and social media trend which could have far-reaching consequences for the worlds of broadcasting and advertising, according to a new study.

Specialist digital marketing agency Digital Clarity ( on Tuesday published a survey of 1,300 British mobile internet users below the age of 25 which showed that most use a mobile device to talk to friends about the show they are watching.

The Social TV trend exposed by the study could change the landscape for broadcasters and advertisers chasing youthful eye for on-screen attention, Digital Clarity said in a statement.

Eight out of 10 respondents to the poll said they used Twitter, Facebook or other mobile applications to actively comment on shows and chat with their friends as they watch.

"Up until 12 months ago, TV was struggling to reach the younger market as more and more channels were becoming available," Digital Clarity founder Reggie James said. "Social TV has changed this completely by turning programs into online events where you have to watch them as they happen."

The significance of Social TV is not lost on the television networks which have found themselves with a new marketplace and a different pitch for advertisers, Digital Clarity said.

A joint Nielsen and Yahoo study in the United States last year found that the trend was already well established across the Atlantic with over 86 percent of mobile internet users choosing to communicate with each other in real time during broadcasts, Digital Clarity said.

Last month, the U.S. HBO channel re-ran the Howard Stern film "Private Parts" with Stern simultaneously providing live commentary, which resulted in ratings far higher than could have been forecast for a 14-year-old movie.   Continued...