Social media drives younger viewers to TV, finds survey

By Cory Bergman Comment

Younger demographics are in high demand these days, and a new survey by Horowitz Associates suggests that social media is a valuable tool to attract them to TV. The survey found that social media “disproportionately impacts the viewing behaviors of younger consumers” — nearly one-quarter (24%) of 18-34 year old viewers and 30% of 15-17 year olds have started watching a show on TV “because of something they saw online or through social media,” compared to 16% of all adults surveyed.

Another 19% of the 18-34 year olds say social media helps remind them to tune into a TV show. That number jumps to 28% for 15-17 year olds. Here’s a graphic breaking down the results:

Of course, a single survey alone doesn’t prove that social media will drive ratings in the younger demos, but it correlates with other surveys and studies we’ve seen. And just look at MTV — the biggest TV brand in social media — and you can’t help but wonder what ratings it would lose if it stopped engaging on its many successful social channels. Same goes for shows like Pretty Little Liars, which just set an all-time record for the most social TV episode.

“Harnessing the power of social media and social interactivity with TV is essential in order to keep younger viewers engaged with the live TV experience,” notes Adriana Waterston, VP of Horowitz Associates. “In the social media environment, consumers do not want to feel ‘marketed to’ or manipulated. A successful social media or interactive strategy must feel genuine, not fabricated.”