Two thirds of British people use Social Media to Enhance Their TV Experience

Motorola’s global research study shows viewers are augmenting TV habits with Internet usage

  • 29 percent of British viewers watch television on a mobile device
  • Almost 10 percent of British viewers watch more than 30 hours of TV a week.
  • Second only to the US – Britain has over twice the amount of users on Twitter than Germany and France

The British emerge as a nation of traditional television lovers, according to the findings of Motorola’s third Media Engagement Barometer, a 9000 person global study of television viewing habits.

With a combined weekly average of 14 hours of television, Brits are watching more than any of their European neighbours – Germany, France, Sweden, Russia and Turkey – and are joint second with Japan, behind the US, where the average viewer watches 15 hours a week.

However, this doesn’t mean we’re a nation of couch potatoes stuck on the sofa in front of the goggle box. The survey also reveals that 29 percent of British viewers are watching some form of television or video – either streamed live or on-demand – on a mobile device, with the laptop being the favourite device.

The Brits also emerge as a social bunch too with 63 percent of viewers saying that they have used the Internet or a social network to discuss a television programme while they are watching it, although this is way behind the leader China where a massive 92 percent of the population have discussed a TV show online, a trend that is being called ‘social TV’.

Says Tom Satchwell marketing director, Home business, at Motorola Mobility: “From the findings, the picture that emerges for British viewers is a nation that loves its television, certainly more so than its European neighbours, but is quite traditional when it comes to adopting new viewing habits, at least when compared to Latin America and South East Asia.”

One major trend that emerges from the findings is that the Internet is augmenting television viewing habits rather than competing with them. While a total of 18 hours on average a week are spent by the average Brit either surfing the Net or on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter, these hours are merging with TV viewing rather than competing.

Adds Satchwell: “With the ubiquity of laptop computers and smartphones and the emergence of tablets the humble television has its work cut out trying to remain top dog for eyeballs in the home. Our study suggests that it’s still holding its own and that many people are merging their surfing and viewing habits, fusing social media with viewing and creating new possibilities for programme makers and advertisers to interact with them.”

While the Brits seem quiet conservative in their viewing habits, the survey shows that viewers in China, Turkey, Latin America and Russia are surging ahead in their demand for new services. They spend more hours a week on social networks, they spend more hours than anyone else watching television on a mobile device and they are far more interested in signing up to new services – such as linking a social network with a TV to make recommendations based on what friends are viewing.

Interestingly, regions with very advanced viewers are also more likely to be worried about the complexity of new TV services than countries like Britain, which suggests they are trading peace of mind for the very latest in television and broadcast technology.

Concludes Satchwell: “Overall the 2011 study paints a picture of a world evolving to a new set of television viewing habits and services. While it’s clearly not a revolution, with countries like Britain, France and Germany keeping the likes of China and Russia in check, there is a definite trends towards a more social, networked and mobile television experience and this has huge implications for viewers, broadcasters, advertisers and companies like Motorola Mobility.”

A full report of the findings is available on request, as is an infographic to illustrate the key findings. Please email Tom Waller, for more information.

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