New Kantar study confirms direct link between Twitter and TV

25 Sep 2014  |  Ellen Hammett 
New Kantar study confirms direct link between Twitter and TV

More than one in ten shows gain viewers during broadcast as a direct result of tweets, according to a new study from Kantar Media.

A Year in the Life of TV and Twitter, published today, provides the first in-depth look at the relationship between what we say and read about on Twitter and what we are watching in the UK, revealing that Twitter activity can provide key insights into TV viewing for brands and broadcasters.

Based on a year's worth of exclusive data from Twitter and BARB, the research found that for 11% of programmes Twitter activity boosted audiences by an estimated 2%.

TV tweet levels were found to broadly correlate with TV channel shares and programme/series/viewing figures across a broad time period, though some channels were found to over-perform on Twitter relative to audience share.

Of the TV tweets analysed, the report notes that there was a "noticeable skew" towards entertainment, talent shows, constructed reality, documentaries, soaps, special events and some dramas, including Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, which tend to have a younger following.


The research found that the top 30 TV series (excluding live sport and news programmes) account for 50% of all measured UK Twitter TV activity and 9% of viewing volume.

Twitter TV activity was also found to correlate with audience size at a broad level: the shows with the largest volume of Twitter TV activity tended to have higher audiences. However, smaller shows can gain disproportionate levels of Twitter activity if they are "social TV friendly".

"People have always talked about TV with friends and family, and Twitter extends these conversations outside the living room," said Andy Brown, global CEO of Kantar Media.

"This extensive study illustrates the positive correlation between Twitter and TV in the UK, but also shows that it is not as straightforward as assuming that a high number of viewers results in a large volume of tweets.

"'Twitter friendly' shows that encourage tweets during the broadcast or have a younger, evangelical audience for example, can punch above their weight, thereby distorting overall perceptions. This illustrates how proactive encouragement of social TV activity can positively impact programming schedules and advertising campaigns."

A copy of the report can be found on Kantar's website.

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