Over the course of the four weeks in which the study was conducted (May-June 2017), a total of 126 ad-supported TV programmes and 365 unique topics from over 52 networks were part of the top ten trending topics. Live viewing (83% of P2+ prime time TV viewing is live) and millennials (accounting for 54% of total time spent on Twitter) continued to drive TV conversations, and ad-supported TV topics remained popular regardless of programming season or time of year.
Overall, at least half of Twitter trending topics on any night were related to TV. About 83 ad-supported entertainment shows trended, versus eight for premium pay-TV, three for Netflix, two for YouTube, two for pay per view and one for Facebook Live.
While sports accounted for 56% of ad-supported TV topics trending, entertainment and news generated 40% and 4% respectively.
“High quality video content has an amazing ability to extend far beyond the first screen,” said Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of VAB. “Nowhere is both the right-now relevant and the long tail of TV’s influence more apparent than on social media, and specifically on Twitter. From the pre-air buzz to the up-to-the minute commentary to the detailed post-show analysis, ad-supported TV continues to outperform every other medium as a source of live, shared experiences that demand to be talked about.”