"A big part of the problem is that these young viewers have grown up in the interactive world of the Internet and mobile phones," said nScreen analyst Colin Dixon. "The passive television experience is simply not interesting to them. For the generation reared with a smartphone in almost constant contact with their friends, media consumption is rarely an entirely solo experience. Their opinions are as much a part of the experience as the media they are consuming."
Bringing the voice of the audience to the traditional TV experience is the best way to guarantee the long-term future of the medium, he said. That means taking approaches like that of HuffPost Live (HPL), which uses a mix of editorialised 'shows' and social comments to attract an average of 22 million monthly unique viewers watching for, on average, 18 minutes each.
Also, Twitter recently said that 70% of millennials say they enjoy reading tweets while tracking a live event on TV, 71% say that tweeting about any event makes it more fun, and most of those would follow a hashtag related to the event.
"Finding a way to more directly connect social interaction with the TV screen and the shows themselves is key to keeping TV competitive for the long haul," Dixon said. "That means making social interaction a part of the pay TV platform and, ultimately, another brush in the colour palette of the content creators."