All posts in “Nielsen”

Watching with Friends: The Rise of Social TV

As I work on this blog post, I’ve got a clear view of two screens – my laptop and the TV. This is a common occurrence at my house, and many others across North America. A majority of Americans are now commonly using TV and the Internet at the same time – Nielsen has reported that number as high as 60%, and there are plenty of reasons why. Some people are multitasking, scrolling through their reader or catching up on work while they watch. Some are complementing what they’re seeing on the TV with what they’re doing online—looking up that Law & Order: SVU guest star on IMDb or checking their fantasy football scores while they watch the game. But a significant number are incorporating social media into their TV use (myself included), and our numbers are growing.

The impact of social media on TV is significant. In an interview last year, media scholar Henry Jenkins theorized that social media is making people return to watching television in real time, a practice that’s been on the downward trend, thanks to the popularity of time-shifting technologies. Not only does real-time watching help viewers to avoid spoilers, it also allows them to talk about the shows their watching with others who are having the same experience. There’s a window of time after an episode airs when it’s still considered relevant and appropriate conversation for most people. This is especially true for what’s often called “event TV”—the Oscars, the Super Bowl, political debates or speeches—which lend themselves to in-the-moment chatting. Social TV means you’re watching with other people—even if those people are spread out all over your time zone or the world. For many people, talking about TV is one of the most enjoyable parts of watching it, and social media is making this easier than ever.

Popular Tools for Social TV Viewing

When it comes to talking about TV, a number of tools have emerged, looking to capitalize on the trend and provide social networks dedicated to TV or general media consumption.


GetGlue, launched in 2008, is the leader in the field. It allows users to check-in to the media they’re consuming, awarding them with virtual stickers. Once users have collected enough virtual stickers for the TV, music and movies they’re watching, they can have physical stickers mailed to them. GetGlue has also partnered with both Foursquare, for location-based check-ins, and DIRECTV, to allow users to check-in from their TV sets.


Miso hasn’t been around as long as GetGlue, having only launched in 2010, but does present some solid competition. Like GetGlue, it’s integrated with DirectTV, but unlike GetGlue, it focuses solely on TV. Also unlike GetGlue, they’re looking past check-ins to content, recognizing that gamification is only one reason for users to use social TV tools. With an eye on content as a long-term strategy, Miso may be poised to grow.


Tunerfish comes from Comcast, and bills itself as a “social discovery engine.” Despite providing a host of social gesture options and a promised robust recommendations tool, Tunerfish is lagging when compared with GetGlue and Miso. With relatively few users, the social network is suffering. After all, if your contacts aren’t there, what’s the point?


And let’s not forget Twitter. Plenty of viewers are turning to their existing networks for TV talk, and Twitter is my tool of choice. I can follow my favorite shows, their creators, and their stars, see what my existing network is saying or follow hashtags devoted to particular shows to get a broader view of what Twitter users are saying. This is working for me so far, but I wonder if I’m missing something by not using a tool like the ones described above.


Do you incorporate social media into your TV viewing? If I’m only using Twitter and not one of these other platforms, am I missing out?


Social Media Roundup for June 18, 2010

Twitter Places

There is a huge amount of information that streams through, but depending on the topic, it is not always relevant to your particular geographical location. To help solve this problem, Twitter is launching their Places functionality. Users can tag locations to tweets, or browse tweets in a location of their choosing. If you find yourself at a sporting event, you can log into the stadium Twitter Place and see what everyone else is saying at the stadium. Places will be fully integrated with Foursquare and Gowolla, and API enhancements will be created to ensure all developers can use the full potential. Twitter Places will be implemented for 65 countries around the world in the coming weeks, so everyone keep your eyes peeled for the add location option below the tweet box!

How The World is Spending Time Online

It feels to many of us that Social Media has been gaining steam for years, and it looks like the momentum has just begun. Nielsen has released a study that found users are on blogs/social networks for 22% of their online time, an increase of 66% since last year. Blogs and social networks are also visited by three quarters of all global consumers, which is up 24%. These numbers are incredible, and clearly shows that social media is here for the long haul! So where do you spend your online time?

Principals of Measurement

KD Paine has a great live writeup about the recent International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) event in Barcelona. Delegates from 33 countries voted, and passed the seven proposed key principals. It is great to see that standards are being agreed upon for measuring PR and social media, and even more so that there is a focus on measuring the business results rather then just the media results.

USA vs England

World Cup fever is in the air! This week brings us another viral video that illustrates a USA vs England game with stop motion photography – using Lego! Who will win? You’ll have to watch it to find out!

Social Media Statistics: TV, Multi-tasking, Online News and Your Brand's Friends, Fans & Followers

Probably no one can make numbers look as cool as Sesame Street, but I’m about to give it a go in the name of Social Media. Here’s hoping these social media statistics make your next PowerPoint sing.

Couch Surfing, Channel Surfing and the Interweb

According to a recent survey by Nielsen, more people are surfing the web while they watch TV. Between 2009 and 2010 people who watched the Super Bowl while browsing the internet rose from 12.8% to 14.5% while Oscar viewers in the same time made a massive leap from 8.7% to 13.3% who watch and browse. What might surprise you are the sites that are keeping them hooked; Facebook (okay, not surprising) and Yahoo (Yahoo?). (via Fast Company)

Media Post reports people are also watching more TV online. A recent survey by Unicast found that of  planning to tune in to NCAA March Madness; 54% plan to watch the games online. An additional 10% plan to watch via mobile devices and 18% through social networks. The full study is available as a PDF. (via Mashable)

News is Not Dead

While the increase in Internet sourced news has created much dialogue around the death of the newspaper, news itself is not dead though traditional channels might be suffering. A Pew Internet study has found that 53% of all American adults get news online today- that is about 71% of all internet users. The interesting part is that only 35% are loyal to a particular source. The rest, seem to news graze using multiple sites and don’t rely on any one site in particular. Of the faithful, about 65% of them check in with their favourite news site at least once per day, yet only 19% of them said they would be willing to pay for online news. 82% said they would find another place to get their news instead. In other news, Yahoo News, Google News, AOL and Topix are the most commonly used online news sources. Not CNN, CBS or even <gasp> the New York Times. (via Web Search Guide)

Why Do They Become a Fan and What Does it Mean?

Ta-da! It turns out that Friends, Fans and Followers of your brand are more likely to support you at the cash register. According to a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate more than 50% of Facebook Fans and 67% of Twitter followers feel more inclined to buy from brands they are social with online. But why do they socialize with you to begin with? The same study shows that 25% are hoping for discounts and deals while 18% want to show off how much they love you. <Aww>. (via eMarketer)

Social Media Roundup for January 29, 2010

Apparently Apple released a product Wednesday

Is it just me or did the iPad feel like old news before it was 30 minutes old? The advance rumours were (in some cases) so accurate this time and so far ahead of the actual announcement that it was hard not to feel a bit let down by reality. The perennial Apple Fanboy Vs. Hater debate aside, the new iPad device tries to fill a gap between the portability of a smart phone and the bulkiness of a laptop or netbook, all with Steve Jobs trademark flair for the stylish. Buried in all the hoopla is that Jobs said when you consider MacBooks as “mobile” devices, Apple generates more revenue from mobile hardware than any other company in the world. (via John Gruber’s Daring Fireball)

New Social Media Use Stats

Neilsen released some new statistics on usage of social media showing that Facebook is continuing to eat MySpace‘s lunch, Twitter use has exploded and the global audience spending 82% more time on social media platforms than they did last year. Mashable summarizes the results and offers up fresher month-over-month stats that show Twitter use in decline.

CBC Charges for Article Embeds

The publishing industry continues to struggle with a profitable online news model, focusing particular attention on the wide gulf between outright piracy and fair use of their copyrighted content . The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) among other news organizations have been using the iCopyright system to help monetize their content. The Torontoist breaks down how it is being used.

An Incovenient PR Truth

According to a video by RealWire (an online news distribution service), irrelevance is to the PR industry what pollution is to the environment. Breathe in that irrelevance, baby.