twitter_tvFewer than one in five (18 percent) of people online use Twitter to follow the TV show they’re watching, according to new Strategy Analytics’ market research that explores the six main ways people watch TV.

Traditional TV viewers – “couch potatoes” – are the largest segment of TV viewers identified in Strategy Analytics’ “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Segmenting Today’s Multiscreen TV Audience,” representing 33 percent of people online who watch TV. Couch potatoes are very focused on the program they’re watching. They don’t phone or text people about what they’re watching, and they hardly ever use social media, according to a news release. No one in this group uses Twitter trending topics or hashtags on a weekly basis to follow TV shows they watch.

“OTTers” are the next biggest audience segment identified in the report, accounting for one in four (26 percent) of viewers. The most likely to go 24 hours without watching, OTTers are less interested in TV. They would rather watch TV shows online or via over-the-top (OTT) services. Ninety-five percent of OTTers watch a TV show they missed on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

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So-called “couch chatterers” account for 12% of TV viewers. They are similar to couch potatoes, but are 2-1/2 times “more likely than the average person online (90% vs. 37%) to phone or text others about what they’re watching on TV,” Strategy Analytics explains. None of this group uses Twitter to follow a show they’re watching, though they “are much more likely to be using another device (80%) when watching TV than the average viewer (65%).”

Twitter and TV Together?
Three in ten people were identified as “multi-screeners” — and there are three sub-categories within this category, researchers said. “Indifferent” and “moderate” multi-screeners each account for 11 percent of people online who watch TV. “Indifferent multi-screeners” are the least interested in TV of all six groups identified in the report. Eighty-three percent use another device while watching TV. They’re also highly likely (84 percent) to phone or text people about what they’re watching, and 91 percent use Twitter to follow a TV show.

Nearly half (45 percent) of the time “moderate multi-screeners” spend viewing television content is done via computer, tablet or smartphone. Ninety percent go online if they’ve missed a show. They’re also the second most likely group (66 percent) to have a pay-TV subscription, however. They’re also extremely likely to phone or text (93 percent) about a show. Just 1 percent use Twitter on a weekly basis to follow a show.

Accounting for 7 percent of those covered in the survey, “manic multi-screeners” are the only group along with indifferent multi-screeners (51 percent) where over half (55 percent) of TV viewing is done via other devices. Manic multi-screeners are also the most likely to have a pay-TV subscription (74 percent). They are also the most likely to use another device while watching TV (97 percent) and the most likely (96 percent) to phone or text regarding a TV show and to use Twitter weekly to follow a show (100 percent).

“The traditional way broadcasters and advertisers have discussed TV audiences for 70 years – by age and gender – is becoming increasingly irrelevant and outdated,” Strategy Analytics’ Principal Analyst and report author David Mercer commented. “People within a traditional group, say 18-34 year old men, can watch TV in completely different ways so new behaviors are as important as demographics when it comes to planning for all elements within the TV industry – whether content, scheduling or advertising.”

“However, broadcasters and advertisers need to learn the intricacies about the relationship between TV and new devices. For instance, there’s been a lot of hype about how Twitter is changing TV viewing but, in reality, only two types of people are remotely engaged with ‘Twitter + TV’. Consequently, strategies heavily focused on this would be a big waste as it’s irrelevant to over 80% of TV viewers.”

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