CTAM Study: Social Networks Feed TV Hunger

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A study released by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing shows that social networking sites are playing an increasing role in determining what viewers watch on TV.
According to the CTAM study -- "CTAM Tracking Study, Wave 5, Exploring Evolving Trends in Viewership"- 79% of regular social networkers said they would watch a television show based on a recommendation from a friend on a social networking site.
In addition, the CTAM study also showed that 33% of regular social networkers reporting they were made aware of a new television show because of something they saw on a social networking site.
"Over one-half of adults who visited social networking sites in the past month visited them every day," said CTAM president and CEO Char Beales in a statement. "These findings underscore the potential ‘water cooler' effect social networking sites can have, as well as the opportunities for television programmers and advertisers to interact with viewers in an even more meaningful way."
Viewers are still watching the majority of programming on TV sets, according to the study. CTAM found that about 80% of those who are also consuming content through nonlinear viewing platforms such as digital video recorders, the Internet and Video on Demand still report watching either the same amount or more regularly scheduled television on the TV set.
"It's no surprise that the majority of American viewers still prefer to view content on a television set," said CTAM vice president of research, Clay Collier in a statement. "But what this study shows is an emerging trend that says the love affair with television programming transcends the television set, as consumers report accessing content on a wide variety of platforms."
The study, conducted with Nielsen from Nov, 30 to Dec, 11, 2009, sampled a total of 1,500 respondents aged 18-plus and 500 teens aged 13-17 years old.
According to CTAM, of those who consume movies, programs and other content on their television set and via the Internet (10%) or video game consoles (11%), nearly two-thirds are male with an average age of 31 and 35, respectively. Roughly 40% of these viewers report watching more TV shows in the past six months on these devices.
Additionally, 39% of those who do not currently connect their TVs to their computers are interested in doing so. CTAM will investigate the drivers behind these behaviors in a future study: Life is a Stream: Understanding Consumers' Viewership of Internet Video on TV.