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TDG Report Finds Social TV Use Growing Quickly

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Social TV use is growing at a rapid rate, something that will continue for the next seven years, claims a new report from TDG (The Diffusion Group). In fact, social TV participation has tripled over the past 18 months and now includes over 10 million active users each month.

A definition to start off: What is "social TV?" According to the report, social TV is a behavior: it's viewers having conversations about the content they're watching. It's not simply second-screen use, says the report. While 40 percent of tablet owners use their tablet at least once a day while watching TV, it says, many of them are reading email or browsing Facebook. The report's surveys make clear that most second-screen activity has little to do with the program on the television.

Social TV is using a device to communicate about the show that the viewer is watching. It doesn't require an official network app, TDG says, and often takes place on platforms that are out of any networks' control.

Besides describing the rise of social TV, TDG busts apart several myths on the topic. Social TV has a reputation of being only for passionate fans or lovers of niche, offbeat shows. However, TDG says, social TV participants are actually much more likely to be watching sports matches or major live events, such as the presidential inauguration or awards shows.

For more on social TV, including why TDG doesn't see it as a major new business opportunity, purchase the full 30-page report for $3,500.

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