Social TV activities - that is, the use of social media platforms to discuss, comment on, or enhance the television experience - are common among today's connected consumers. TDG's latest research indicates that 55% of adult social network users chat with their friends about TV shows at least a couple of times per year, while 35% do so monthly, and 19% do so daily. TV-centered interactions are not lost on network executives, who are well aware of how their shows are doing according to the various social TV ratings services.
But while social TV interactions have to date been primarily fan-driven, they will increasingly take a backseat to interactions around paid placements made by the TV networks. Alan Wolk, TDG senior analyst, says Facebook will be the primary beneficiary of the shift. "It already enjoys a much larger user base than other platforms, and it is the only platform with census-level user numbers. This will spur TV networks to put a majority of their social media dollars into Facebook, which has five times the user base and a much wider demographic reach than Twitter."
Wolk also says a second trend will drive the transformation: Consumers are expected to spend less time viewing live TV broadcasts, turning to time-shifted viewing instead. Those engaged in social TV conversations are less likely to require real-time interaction. In turn, this makes real-time platforms like Twitter less relevant. Such platforms will still be relevant for live viewing, meaning Twitter is expected to decline slowly rather than implode. TDG predicts that the time users spend on Twitter will decline by 31% between 2015 and 2025.