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Social TV Comes Out to Play on Super Sunday

February 17th, 2016   ||    by Duane Craig

The surge in users of mobile screens during Super Bowl 50 brings social TV into focus. It’s no longer a world where TV exists all on its own, solely captivating, and holding audiences in the narrow confines of the space where it is placed. Instead, these other screens extend TV’s reach while empowering people to expand their social interactions, and to also find new viewing options. Social TV is yet another aspect of today’s connected world.

Calculating Human Attention

The Digital Traffic Index, done by MediaPost and Jumpshot, hit a five-month high during Super Bowl 50. The index is a way to “look at the supply of human attention to digital screens each day.” It takes only small changes in the index to see major changes in mobile and desktop use. For example, a 1 percent change in the mobile index represents about 2.8 million devices.

The supply of mobile unique users during the Super Bowl was only 6 percent less than the previous 12-month high. And, it was just 2 percent less than the last high on September 27, 2015. On the big day itself, there were 2.5 million more people using mobile screens than on the previous Sunday. The Super Bowl highlights social TV in action because it has a compelling social aspect. People view it as a social event because it is steeped in tradition. It also creates a time for people to get together and share. Linear TV is the glue that binds it all together, and linear is still very much alive.

Linking Linear TV

According to the Ericsson Consumer Insight Report, TV and Media 2015, scheduled linear TV still dominates daily viewing rates because of its “premium content, ease of viewing, and social aspects.” Take for example, the younger, connected set. While people between 16 and 34 years old say they spend 53 percent of their video viewing time on mobile devices, 60 percent still watch linear TV every day. Mobile devices help increase socializing related to TV because they are equipped for sharing. That allows the audience to expand as people share with others who are not in the same physical space. They could be a block away, or a nation away, and still participate in the dialog about an event. And, this “social campfire” aspect of TV is especially evident for live events.

Two-Way Social TV

Mobile devices also play a supporting role to TV by adding easy access to searchable information related to what’s on. People turn to their mobile devices to dig deeper in to what they are viewing, and then share their new found information through social media, as well as in person. There is a two-way dynamic happening between mobile devices and TV. While TV influences what people view on their mobile devices, mobile devices influence what people view on TV. The number of respondents to Digitalsmiths 2015 Video Trends Report who said they choose to watch programming because of the attention it gets on social media, almost doubled in the two years between Q1-2013 and Q1-2015. When people find new TV viewing options using social media on their mobile devices, it’s another example of the phenomenon called social TV.

If you’re ready to explore the idea of connecting with consumers across all their devices, connect with us at Videa.

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