When social media exploded in popularity, it seemed to pose a risk to the TV industry. After five decades of TV addiction, would consumers instead loaf on the couch gazing at their Facebook feed?

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In fact, research has shown that TV-watching and social media usage isn't mutually exclusive. Consumers appear to love using social media while they watch TV. Many discuss what they're watching, and these conversations continue long after air-time, with TV-linked chatter accounting for a significant percentage of overall social media activity

TV industry players and TV-focused marketers realized they could piggyback on this new consumer habit. The idea was not to compete with social media, but to use it so that televised shows, events, and ad campaigns won more audience and audience participation.

Social TV is how these ideas are being made tangible.

There's a lot at stake: $350 billion was spent on TV ads globally in 2012. If social TV can help make that advertising more effective, or help social media skim some of those dollars, the opportunity is there for social TV to become a major business in its own right.

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The real potential of social TV is in the data being generated by audience activity. Social TV isn't just a consumer habit, or a way for brands to extend their TV campaigns into the social media realm. It is both those things, but also a sophisticated technique for gaining insights into TV audiences and making better TV ad buys.

This report takes stock of the most important social TV trends. It gauges the audience for social TV, and digs into how social TV is forcing broadcasters and advertisers to rethink their strategies. It also looks at how data vendors are slicing and dicing all that TV-linked social chatter.

  • Social TV is already an established habit with audiences around the world, with majorities of social media users saying they routinely comment about TV shows or events.
  • Social TV data can be used for an amazing variety of applications, including: support for TV ad sales, optimizing TV ad buys, and as a complement to audience [...]