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Social TV: TVGuide Finds Primary Purpose is Saving Threatened Shows

Published on April 04, 2012

While broadcasters envision fans interacting with reality TV stars or voting for their favorite singers with apps, it turns out there’s a “higher purpose.”

Fans' primary reason for participating in social TV activity is to “keep my favorites on the air,” according to TVGuide.com user research, released in partnership with the Social TV Summit. In a survey conducted in March, 76% of respondents said keeping favorite shows from being canceled was their main motivation for social activity, up from 66% in 2011.

The definition of social activity in the survey included a broad variety of social actions, including posts, status updates, check-ins and comments on social networks, fansites, official network sites, and entertainment sites and apps such as TVGuide.com. TVGuide.com, which has more than 24 million monthly unique users, leads the mass market in mobile and social TV with over 6.5 million mobile application installations, 500,000 social Watchlists created, 7 million TV check-ins, and Social Power Rankings, a daily curated feature of user-generated activity.

Additionally, the survey found changing behavior related to when TV fans participated in social activity. Of those who participate in social TV activity, 95% said they do so after watching a show (up from 68% last year), 40% participate during a show (up from 33%), and 53% before a show (up from 52%).

Fans also experimented with a variety of different social apps, websites and experiences related to major live TV events:

  • 62% had some intention to use apps/websites/experiences during the Super Bowl, while 58% actually did
  • For Grammys and Oscars on average, 57% had some intention to use apps/websites/experiences, while 80% actually used them
  • 33% of respondents said they participated in social activity because they wanted to say something about the event, while 69% wanted to see what others were saying