With Facebook and Twitter jockeying for position in the television landscape, research firm eMarketer released a new report showing just why TV is top-of-mind at the rival social networks, saying that 15 percent to 17 percent of viewers engaged with social networks in real-time about the shows they were watching.
eMarketer said in describing its findings:
The idea of TV as the “first screen” and other devices as the “second” or “third” screens is dead. Today, the first screen is whichever one a consumer is looking at.
eMarketer expects that (15 percent to 17 percent) figure to rise if social media companies are successful in their attempts to cozy up more closely with television. Twitter is making TV partnerships a key focus, both for users and marketers, and the recently released Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings and TV-related ad products are aimed at supporting and extending marketers’ television advertising.
Facebook is further behind, but the company is expanding the use of hashtags and other features to show users how much real-time conversation is taking place on the service. It is also rolling out two APIs (application-programming interfaces) that will allow media outlets and ad technology companies to analyze and report on real-time activity. Facebook believes it can offer TV advertisers a one-two punch of enormous reach and deep targeting.
eMarketer also quoted ad executives, with Procter & Gamble Digital Brand Manager for North America Fabric Care Eric Gruen saying:
We can do our normal commercials that we’ve done for so long, but we realize consumers are talking about what they’re doing while watching TV. In order for us to be a part of that conversation, it’s about going beyond our traditional TV commercials. It’s up to the brands to be authentic. We need to make sure we take part in a way that adds value to the consumers and what they’re doing.
Rick Wion of McDonald’s added:
(Consumers are) watching the commercials, and they’re interacting with their device at the same time. So, we think there are tons of opportunities.
Readers: How often do you interact on Facebook or Twitter while watching television?
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