Nielsen: social TV on the rise across demos | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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According to Nielsen’s new 2016 Social Media Report, the role social media is playing in consumers’ lives is significant and increasing — with big ramifications for TV habits.

nielsen social tvPowered in part by the continued ubiquity of the smartphone — now firmly in the hands of over 87% of the US adult population — social media reached about 177 million people each week on average in Q3 2016, according to the ratings giant. And among all US adults (18+), social media’s part of the media diet is 22%-36% more than the comparable quarter last year.

Looking at the amount of consumption in terms of gender and race/ethnicity, the report found that women spend a quarter of their total media time on social, and Hispanic adults spend nearly 23%. And at six hours ten minutes, black adults spend the most amount of time per week of any consumer demographic.

The continuing increase in mobile and tablet penetration and consumer usage means a natural overlap with other media — TV included. The report looked into simultaneous device usage — from frequency to specific social activities done while tuning in the tube — and found that while 21% of tablet users said they use their tablet while watching TV “several times a day,” 30% of smartphone users said they did so.

Naturally, many consumers are using social channels to talk about the programmes they’re watching on TV. There was an average of 14.2 million social media interactions about TV across Facebook and Twitter each day this past autumn TV season in the US.

Across platforms, social TV activity peaked on Sundays this fall as audiences took to social media to talk about NFL games, specials and Sunday series. Nearly half (43%) of weekly Facebook activity and a third (33%) of weekly Twitter activity occurred on Sundays. On Facebook, the next-busiest day was Saturday — a day known for college football and pro baseball.

On Facebook, nearly three-quarters of TV interactions were related to sports events. Just under half of Twitter interactions were related to sports events, followed closely by series, with nearly a third of Twitter interactions during that same week.

When it comes to series programmes, top nods in the US this autumn went to The Walking Dead (AMC) and Empire (FOX). On average, there were 3.2 million social TV interactions across Facebook and Twitter about each new fall episode of The Walking Dead on AMC.

“Social media provides all viewers with a platform to share responses and opinions, from the meaningful to the trivial. At the same time, social media platforms themselves are evolving,” Nielsen said in the report. “Today, they don’t just provide a marketing opportunity; social networks are also pivoting to become media distributors as well, completing the trifecta of audience reach, advertising ROI and content delivery.”