Adults Engage with TV Online

March 31, 2011

harris-technology-social-media-tv-overlap-users-mar11.gifAmong online US adults, about two in five (43%) say they have gone online or utilized social media to comment, post, watch or read something about a television show or program, according to a recent24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll on Social Media and Television. One-third say they have done so after watching a TV show or program (33%) and fewer say they have done so either before watching (18%) or while watching (17%) a TV show or program.

Younger, Educated More Likely to Engage

Unsurprisingly considering the general demographics of the internet, younger and more educated adults are more likely to engage with TV shows online or through social media. For example, 59% of 18-to-24-year-olds report engaging in this way, with that figure progressively falling among older age brackets until reaching a low of 28% for adults 55 and older.

Similarly, 48% of college graduates, but 47% of those with some college and 35% of adults with a high school diploma or less engage with TV shows online and through social media.

Kids are Big Differentiator, Not Gender

harris-social-media-tv-overlap-users-hh-gender-mar11.gifInterestingly, men (43%) and women (42%) have essentially identical engagement rates. However, adults with a child in the household are much more likely (47%) than those without a child in the household (40%) to do so.

Women Post on Forums

harris-socnet-tv-ways-mar-2011.JPGGender differences become apparent when looking at how adults engage with TV shows online and via social media. Fifty-seven percent of women, but only 50% of men, post about TV shows on individual forums such as a personal Facebook page or Twitter account. Conversely, 38% of men but only 27% of women post on a separate media outlet site such as an entertainment blog.

Men (45%) and women (44%) post on a website or page created by the content provider, such as a Facebook page associated with a TV show, at about the same rate.

Info Main Reason to Engage Online

harris-socnet-tv-reasons-mar-2011.JPGBy far, obtaining more information is the most popular reason viewers engage with TV shows online and through social media, with 76% of respondents rating this as an important reason. Obtaining analysis or summary (68%) and obtaining a source of additional entertainment (67%) virtually tie with about two-thirds of respondents saying they are important reasons. Only about half (51%) think engaging with other viewers is important.

Largest Audience Share Less Likely to Engage

Measuring Q4 2010 audience share by age, recent Nielsen data indicates the largest share was represented by adults age 50-64 (24%), followed by those age 35-49 (22%). These audience segments represent an online engagement rate ranging from 40% to 28%. Tweens and teens age 12-17 represented the smallest share (6%). Measuring by gender, women comprised 53% of the viewing audience.

About the Data: This 24/7 Wall St./Harris Poll was conducted online within the US between March 11 and 15, 2011 among 2,526 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Where appropriate, this data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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