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U.S. Millennials Have Adopted Social TV Applications

Media tablets, especially for younger people, are an extension of the television program viewing experience. The implications to advertisers on TV could be very significant, because much of the use occurs during commercial breaks.

According to the latest market study by NPD Group, 56 percent of U.S. tablet owners age 18-34 use their tablet for activities related to the TV program they are watching, or for other online related activities. 

In contrast, this compares to just 41 percent among all tablet owners age 18 and older.

The top three TV-related tablet activities among Millennials are:
  1. Searching for TV programs to watch (34 percent).
  2. Social media engagement related to a TV program (31 percent).
  3. And, learning more about the program they are viewing (30 percent).
Even more tablet owners age 18-34 say they want to use their device in conjunction with TV viewing in the future, and apparently social media is a driving factor.

Among Millennial tablet owners, 44 percent said they would consider using their device in the future for social media activity related to a TV program making it the number one way this age group wants to engage while watching TV.


"Millennials are advocates for TV apps," said John Buffone, executive director at the NPD Group. 'They seek out programming in this manner and hopefully leverage it to draw in friends and family members."

Media tablets are actively being used as a TV companion in American homes with an internet connection, where viewers are more likely to watch children's, family, music, and premium cable networks.

The networks with the greatest over-index of tablet usage as a TV companion span across these categories and are led by Nick at Nite, MTV, and Showtime.

According to the NPD assessment, with the proper integration, tablets can be an effective tool for increasing viewer engagement among Millennials and their broader social network.

Social networking is a key strategic element in the evolution of the high-profile networks this generation is viewing. Children's, family, music, and premium cable networks should invest in social media strategies that complements their programming and encourages their viewer to spread the word about content they are watching.

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