1 in 7 Brits get TV recommendations from social media
James R | On 04, Jul 2014
1 in 7 Brits now get their TV recommendations from social media, according to YouView.
The company’s census into national TV habits for 201, published this week to celebrate its second birthday, reveals that social media is increasingly shaping the way we watch TV – from picking series to avoiding spoilers.
1 in 8 people claim they now watch more TV than in 2013, with UK households owning an average of one extra TV-capable device/gadget compared to 12 months ago. And social media usage has grown with it, with around one in seven viewers now getting TV recommendations directly from it [Facebook (12 per cent) and Twitter (6 per cent)].
14 per cent of Facebook users also said they always or often use the site to talk about the TV programme they are watching. For Twitter, unsurprisingly, the number was slightly higher at 16 per cent – seeming to confirm the social network’s own claims to be more suited for TV viewing thanks to its real-time nature.
Howeverm the YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people found that one in seven told how they always flicked through Facebook at the same time as watching TV (in Wales, this rose to 27 per cent) while those on Twitter at the same time as watching TV amounted just 4 per cent – although twice as many 18-24s admitted to sending tweets while in front of the box. (For 25-34s, it was 10 per cent.)
In the battle of the sexes, women were far more likely to always or often be on Facebook while watching TV – 41 per cent of females vs 28 per cent of males.
That relationship, though, extends to spoilers too: while useful in choosing programmes, social media is just as effective at ruining them. According to the survey, nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) of UK telly addicts now take evasive action to avoid spoilers about TV they have recorded or wished to stream later on catch-up or on demand. This rose to seven in 10 (68 per cent) for 18-24s.
Nationally, 31 per cent rated spoilers as “very annoying” with 55-and-overs surprisingly hating them the most (36 per cent). That compared to just a quarter (25 per cent) of 18-24s.
To avoid spoilers, 27 per cent saying they would stay away from social media, 25 per cent wouldn’t read newspapers, 7 per cent would ensure their phones were switched off, while 6 per cent said they would avoid social gatherings.
Social media, though, pales in comparison to family and friends, who appear to offer the most useful TV viewing advice. Around six in 10 of those questioned rated such people as “influential” compared to just 29 per cent who said TV critics were “influential” in their own TV viewing choices.
The use of printed TV guides also experienced a fall compared to the same YouView survey in 2013. It dropped from 30 per cent to 27 per cent. One in 10 are now using TV-related applications on mobile devices (17 per cent for 25-34s).
The study also discovered good news for UK TV producers. Despite fierce competition from American imports, British drama was ranked as the respondents’ favourite with 52 per cent of people who preferred homegrown shows compared to 23 per cent who rated dramas highest. Despite the current wave of Scandinavian crime, foreign Language dramas accounted for just 3 per cent. Among the 18-24s questioned, US imports were just ahead at 35 per cent vs 33 per cent.
Susie Buckridge, Director of Product, YouView said, “There has never been a greater choice of TV available to watch and more ways to watch it on, so it’s interesting to see how viewers are clearing a path through the maze of shows being aired.
“Whether taking recommendations from social media or being influenced by family and friends, it appears the personal touch is the key to helping decide what’s worth turning on and what we should just switch off.”
Hat tip to VOD Professional for the full infographic.