Social media has growing effect on TV consumption

On the face of it the Ericsson ConsumerLab "TV & Video Consumer Trend Report 2011," contradicts earlier findings by BSkyB and others that the impact of online viewing and social media has actually increased consumption of scheduled programming. But the decline in scheduled viewing reported by Ericsson was only slight, and with scheduled viewing remaining dominant the survey actually confirms other findings that social interaction around the TV is stimulating interest for both scheduled and online viewing.

Indeed, the report found that more than 40 percent of the respondents reported using social media on various devices such as smart phones and tablets while watching TV. The majority of families combined TV viewing with the use of Twitter, Facebook, texting, voice calls and forum discussions about what they watched. This is particularly the case when watching reality shows and sports, and the added dimension of social interaction could actually improve the experience of otherwise quite mediocre content. Consumers reported finding annoying reality shows funnier or more engaging when they were able to comment on social media about "terrible" singers, or "ugly" clothing.

More generally though consumers want good quality content as much as ever, ranking this as more important than availability of 3-D TV and access to applications. The service consumers are most willing to pay for is early access to box office movies.

The data collected in Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, the U.S. and South Korea found that 38 percent of the respondents were watching Internet-based on-demand TV more than once per week, while about 80 percent watch broadcast TV more than once per week.