“Twitter”: Does it increase TV viewership?

http://mashable.com/2011/05/04/twitter-tv-engagement/

This article relates to the issue we discussed in class the other day. A couple of us were of the opinion that once we read a tweet on Twitter we would generally go to a much credible source like Television to get the complete picture. The article emphasizes the relationship between TV and Twitter and examines whether Twitter is useful in driving more eyeballs towards the Television.

A lot of TV shows want people to use hashtags as well as livetweet using Twitter while their show is being aired. Television is a mass media channel but Twitter provides a deeper level of engagement with this mass audience. Sometimes, Twitter does create a negative impact on the TV viewership and drives people further away from the Television if people write negative tweets for a particular show. Hence, many TV shows like “Doctor Who” will be aired simultaneously in different countries across the globe for the fear of it being spoiled by exposure to various social media.

Initially, Twitter was used to publicize TV shows and events around the World. But now it’s interesting to see how the landscape has changed drastically within a short span of time and TV channels want to use Twitter as a medium to reach out and build a relationship with its audience. Are these TV channels really increasing their viewership through Twitter or just providing their viewers with another concrete reason to move away from the traditional media vehicles?

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7 thoughts on ““Twitter”: Does it increase TV viewership?

  1. I think that using twitter to market a tv show and to build a following before the show airs is effective, but running a twitter feed during an actual show would seem to take away from watching the show with some exceptions. Live events like the royal wedding or a sporting event where people can comment back and forth without missing much may increase the entertainment of some people. Other than that I think it could take away from the enjoyment of the show during the show. I think using twitter to enhance the relationship of the viewer with the show is affective before and after the show. A tv show can develop a following before even airing through twitter and facebook, which is a cheap form of marketing that can be highly affective if done correctly.
    I think it depends on the type of show whether it is replaced by a new form of media. I know I don’t watch the news anymore because I get everything online or through twitter. In time when more is offered online and other forms of social media mature I could see my tv viewing drop, but I don’t see it ever completely going away.

  2. Using Twitter to promote television programming is a great tool for the TV industry. Personally, when I watch popular shows or events, I usually take to Twitter to see what everyone is talking about. Its a great forum for everyone to air out jokes, opinions, thoughts, etc for everyone to see. This defintely builds conversation of the show and provides an additional opportunity for real time feedback for TV execs.

  3. I think an important aspect in the relationship between Twitter and television is the requirement for live viewing in order to create a substantial live-tweeting environment. With DVR penetration on the rise more and more people are gravitating towards time-shifted viewing. If a certain program has a large following of people that live-tweet during the scheduled airtime, this means they are watching and interacting with the program in its regularly scheduled time period. This is a good sign for both the television networks and many advertisers, especially those in categories such as theatrical and retail, as they place a premium on reaching viewers the day and time that they are scheduled to.

    Another important point that was mentioned in Deborah’s synopsis is the idea of airing a program at the same time across the globe in order to prevent negative feedback absorbed by Twitter followers. I think this is an important point as followers in NY can comment on a show before it even airs on the west coast. This phenomenon has the potential to disengage viewers and Twitter followers on the west coast.

  4. I don’t think Twitter will ever draw viewers away from Television, however I do believe it can influence which channel we turn to when news is breaking on a story we find interesting. Companies asking viewers to tweet during the airing of a particular program seems to be a clever way to create additional buzz about their program through the use of word of mouth and the social web.

    Some emerging tools we’ve discussed in class, like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix, pose a much bigger threat to traditional television than Twitter (at the moment), but with Facebook launching its own movie stream tool we can rule out social media as a competitor to television in the near future.

  5. I agree with all of the above. I don’t think that Twitter will hurt or conquer television. Fans posting opinions or comments on a show will create curiostiy among the other Twitter hawks. They too will tune into the program to be able to make further comments. Twitter allows fans of a program to become part of a community and grow in their desire to watch the program.

  6. I don’t think there’s enough evidence out there to prove if Twitter is driving TV viewership, but I do think it’s safe to say that it’s a platform that has certainly started to engage consumers in ways that were not imaginable 5 years ago. Twitter makes the experience relevant by allowing viewers to share their thoughts via Twitter. I think the networks, big and small, have an opportunity to leverage the power of the “new masses”. These are the people that are driving the conversation. Not the networks.

  7. I personally do not think Twitter influences what TV programs are watched by viewers. I do think that the increasing use of DVR’s and YouTube viewings are dictating when desired programs are watched based on the availability and time of the viewer. Whether or not Twitter can dictate how folks receive breaking news bulletins is up for discussion, but depending on how folks source their news will most definately alter that statistic. As far as commenting on a show and spoiling endings, I think people will still watch what they want to watch and get a first hand experience as opposed to letting opinions/statements on Twitter ruin their evening. What this really means is that Twitter has not become a stable, reliable source of information like TV still is today.

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