Here at GetGlue we’ve noticed a trend in social TV analyst reports: industry metrics lump social activity for major real-world events (e.g. sports, news, tentpole events) with the rest of TV, a practice proving to be flawed.
For example, here is a chart from a June 2012 social TV report, which shows total broadcast activity for the month of June. It clearly illustrates how a few sports games can overshadow all other social TV activity:
Figure 1: Broadcast Social TV Activity, June 2012
Is this representative of what TV fans care about, or do major events simply behave differently than the rest of TV programming, overshadowing mainstream social TV activity? And by mainstream, we mean the 50% of primetime viewership attributed to scripted TV dramas and comedies in 2011 (source: Nielsen).
First, we found there to be an important distinction between “social events” that happen to be on TV, and social engagement with the most-watched primetime scripted dramas and comedies.
Social events include sporting events (e.g. 2012 NBA Finals), news (televised debates, Osama bin Laden), tentpoles (The Emmys) and reality TV. They draw massive engagement on Twitter, as competitive sports fans, reality viewers, and political supporters flood Twitter streams during these national moments.
Social TV in scripted primetime, however, tells a different story. Social engagement with scripted primetime TV shows is growing rapidly, but not on Twitter. Instead, viewers are flocking to GetGlue to engage with other fans and share updates about their favorite scripted TV shows.
Figures 2 and 3: Broadcast Scripted TV Social Activity
To distinguish social activity during events from social activity during scripted primetime TV, we isolated the Top 10 Nielsen-rated new seasons of scripted TV during the 2011-2012 season.
The result? From April-May 2012, GetGlue outranked Twitter in social activity for 4 of the Top 10 scripted dramas and comedies on broadcast TV, and for 9 of the top 10 Nielsen-rated scripted cable TV series over the summer. And every top-rated program grew faster on GetGlue than on Twitter, in most cases by nearly 10x or more.
Figures 4 and 5: Cable Scripted TV Social Activity
The data is clear: for primetime scripted TV, more fans choose GetGlue.