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Social media will not spike ratings

6 September 2012
Social media will not spike ratings

Broadcasters may be in danger of overestimating the power of social media as a ratings driver, according to a study from ratings powerhouse GfK.

The research reveals more people are likely to watch TV content after catching a TV promo than they are through a recommendation by a friend on Facebook.

GfK teamed up with Red Bee to examine the way viewers watch television by using the VoD specialist’s TV Genius Content Discovery platform, which builds personalised TV listings and recommendations for viewers.

Based on a sample of the top shows that aired on UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV, the research indicated that online sources played only a minor role in driving audiences to some of the most-watched-shows on TV. The most important factor for viewers was that it is a regular show that they have seen before. Promos on TV, TV listings and reviews were also key influencers.

Revealing GfK’s findings at the Thursday morning session ‘Social Media Meets TV’ Nick North, global head of Innovation, Audience Measurement (pictured), said: “Trend spotters are coming at this from a different perspective to the consumer — it’s important to remember that not everyone has an iPad.

“We must put social media in context – it has a role to play but recommendations by trusted TV critics still also feed into effective recommendation engines,” he added.

The research also revealed that second screen viewing habits are not quite as cohesive as content providers would like. While it appears that half of all time spent on tablets may occur during TV viewing, they are not necessarily using second screen apps that tie in with the show that is airing. – Ann-Marie Corvin

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