April 16, 2012

U.S. Consumers Receptive to Social Media Appearing on Their TV Screens,

According to Accenture Study

Greatest barrier to more consumer adoption is expectation that content will not be interesting

NEW YORK; April 16, 2012 – Social media is showing signs of connecting with TV viewers as nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. consumers surveyed recall seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “Likes” while watching television, according to an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) study. Moreover, one in three viewers (33 percent) have interacted with social media after seeing a social media symbol on their TV screen.

Accenture conducted this survey of U.S. television viewers to better understand the public’s perception of social media symbols that appear during programming and how effective they are. The survey found that among the 1,000 viewers surveyed, the majority said they had noticed and were also familiar with how to interact with social media symbols while watching TV, including the Facebook “Like” symbol (42 percent), QR codes (28 percent), Twitter Hashtags (18 percent) and Shazam symbols (9 percent).

One-third (33 percent) of those surveyed said they had actually interacted with the symbols while watching TV by “liking” the TV program on Facebook (20 percent), scanning a QR code (11 percent), searching for the Hashtag on Twitter (7 percent) or scanning the Shazam symbol (5 percent).

“Social media and social networking are exploding across television screens as networks use social media to enable audiences to interact directly with related content for a richer viewing experience,” said Robin Murdoch, Accenture’s global Internet segment managing director. “This has huge revenue growth potential as social media applications build program viewer loyalty and drive online advertising opportunities.”

Reasons for using Social Media

Obtaining more information about a show, product or service was the greatest motivator for interacting with a social media symbol while watching TV; cited by 43 percent of the participants who have done so. Other motivations included:

Demographics play a role

The majority of participants between the ages of 18 and 24 (63 percent) said they have interacted with social media symbols while watching TV. For older age groups, the numbers dropped to 46 percent among 25-34 year olds, 44 percent among 35-44 year olds, 19 percent among 45-54 year olds, 24 percent among 55-64 year olds and 11 percent of those 65 or older.

Both men and women participants who interacted with social media sites were most interested in getting more information about the show (39 percent and 48 percent, respectively). Women were also motivated by getting coupons or promotional codes (40 percent) and registering or signing up for something (34 percent). Males were more interested in interacting with social media to watch another video (35 percent) or entering a contest or sweepstakes (34 percent)

Expectations met

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of those who received content via social media symbols while watching TV said it just “met expectations,” compared with 10 percent who said the content “did not meet expectations” and 15 percent who said it “exceeded expectations.”

The survey also showed that the greatest barrier to adoption is lack of interest among consumers in the content available through social media interactions. When participants were asked why they had not interacted with social media while watching TV, 60 percent said they did not think they would be interested in the content they would receive. Fewer participants said they were not sure how to interact with social media symbols (23 percent); had not downloaded the necessary application for scanning social media symbols on their mobile devices (15 percent); or, did not have time to scan a social media symbol because it was not displayed long enough on the TV program (11 percent).

The survey pointed to dramas and comedies as the top genres where consumers would like additional information and interactivity. Asked what type of show they would be interested in interacting with, 35 percent of participants said dramas and comedies, compared to news programming (31 percent), sporting events (29 percent), reality shows (23 percent), lifestyle/cooking/home shows (20 percent), game shows (19 percent), talk shows (16 percent) and live non-sports events (15 percent).

“The challenge to providers unlocking this enormous growth is convincing viewers that interacting with TV programming is valuable to them," said Murdoch. "You do that by offering compelling content that enhances the viewing experience coupled with things that extend the value into other areas of their lives. In parallel, you might make social media easier for viewers to use by integrating these capabilities into your existing distribution infrastructure.”


In March 2012, Accenture conducted an online survey with 1,000 U.S. consumers over the age of 18 to measure their understanding and usage of the social media symbols that appear during television programming. The sample was representative of the U.S. population weighted by age, gender, geographic region, race and education. Participants were shown images of various social media symbols and asked a series of questions about their familiarity and use of them while watching television.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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Gary Morgenstern


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Jessica Bardoulas


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