Video Essentials

What Brands Can Learn from Viacom’s Social TV Study

There’s been a lot of talk about social video, but most of it has focused on numbers — on increasing tweets and followers. That’s why we welcomed a recent study put out by Viacom on social TV. While the study was aimed at television content makers, there’s a lot that brands marketers can learn from it, as well.

The study questioned over 1,500 13- to 52-year-olds who engaged in social TV viewing at least weekly. The study looked at what drove social viewing in these people in order to promote social viewing in others.

When all the results were in, Viacom found that three Cs kept coming up as the reason viewers engage with social TV:

Communication: Communicating is crucial to social TV, and Viacom found that viewers interact with different social circles in different ways: by Twiiter with some, by Facebook with others, and so on. No one style of communicating was the most popular, with social TV apps, Facebook, Skype, Apple FaceTime, and check-in services all pulling in healthy numbers. Check-in services not only let people share what they’re watching, but encourage others to tune in, as well.

While viewers communicate in many different ways, the smartphone was by far the tool of choice (at 82 percent), followed distantly by tablets (at 18 percent).

Content: Social TV viewers want something extra in the way of content, such as full episodes online, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes extras, Viacom found. While viewers love physical rewards (such as free merchandise), virtual goods such as badges give an emotional payoff.

Comments: Social viewers enjoy reading comments to get a different point-of-view, discover something they missed, and create a connection between themselves and the show. Comments from the stars of the show or from friends and family are most valued.

If you’re creating online video for your company then you’re concerned about engagement. Study up on Viacom’s three Cs and think how you can make your own videos more social.


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