Social TV: Myths, Facts, and the Future


Social TV is real, but it is not what you think.

Social TV is not a thing (or an app or an industry) at all, but a behavior, a new way of watching television. To be more precise, social TV turns the decades-old relationship between viewers and content providers on its head. Social TV is about the audience, not the content creator. The conversation about the content is often more important than the content itself.

This report builds on previous TDG research reports on both tablet diffusion (a major driver of all second-screen behavior) and social TV, and is intended to accomplish three main goals. First, it debunks some common myths about social TV, based on TDG primary research as well as a review of Twitter usage data covering a three month period in late 2012 and early 2013. Second, it will discuss the likely future of social TV, including a forecast of social TV usage through 2020. Finally, we close with strategic recommendations for key industry stakeholders.

By 2020, social TV will be a basic part of the TV experience. Part of the audience will actively participate, and the rest of us will be influenced by it. Future viewers may be forgiven for assuming that that social TV was always part of the television experience.

For further information or questions, please contact Laura R. Allen.