Social media shapes viewing trend

Mobile technology has changed the way Britons watch TV

Mobile technology has changed the way Britons watch TV

First published in National News © by

Social media is now such a central part of everyday life that people use it to decide which TV programmes to watch, a new survey has revealed.

According to research carried out by on demand TV service YouView, 12% of those surveyed said they got programme recommendations directly from Facebook, with 6% saying they relied on Twitter.

There has been a steady increase in the number of Britons who use mobile devices while watching TV. The practice is known as 'second-screening' and according to a Nielsen survey from 2013, more than 45% of smartphone owners use their device while watching TV every day.

YouView's findings suggested the average UK household has added another TV-viewing capable device since last year, and as a result 1 in 8 say they watch more TV than they did in 2013.

Susie Buckridge, director of product at YouView,said: "There has never been a greater choice of TV available to watch and more ways to watch it on, so it's interesting to see how viewers are clearing a path through the maze of shows being aired."

Social media was also a preferred destination for those looking to talk about the shows they're watching, with 1 in 7 Facebook users saying they used the site to discuss their favourite shows, although many also choose to try and avoid social networks so as not to encounter spoilers for shows they've recorded and plan on watching later. 59% said they did this, highlighting the increasing popularity of on demand services like BBC iPlayer and YouView, both of which have apps for mobile devices.

"Whether taking recommendations from social media or being influenced by family and friends, it appears the personal touch is the key to helping decide what's worth turning on and what we should just switch off", said Ms Buckridge.

"The fact that affordability and programme choice are most important when choosing a TV streaming service also resonates for YouView customers."

Another report by the ARRIS Consumer Entertainment Index earlier this year found that more than 30% like to use a mobile device to research a show's history while watching it, further suggesting that the way Britons watch television has fundamentally changed with the arrival of the mobile technology revolution.

Sandy Howe, senior vice president of global marketing for ARRIS, said: "The rapid growth of mobile devices, increasing reach of high-speed broadband networks, and ease of content access is reshaping the way people engage with entertainment. Consumers now expect entertainment on their terms - control over what they watch, when and where they watch it.

"Our Consumer Entertainment Index found that consumers express these expectations in the ways they engage with entertainment in the home. We've found a healthy appetite for traditional forms of entertainment, like broadcast TV, and this serves as the foundation for new ways of consuming that content - like multiscreen, multi-room, and binge-viewing."

The major technology companies are continuing to make advances in the way their customers can consume TV, with Amazon launching earlier this year, and Google announcing Android TV - to complete with the existing Apple TV streaming and on demand service device - at their annual I/O conference in San Francisco last week.

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