Channel 4 to track social TV analytics

The British pubcaster has partnered with social TV analytics company SecondSync to track social media chatter around its programming and come up with audience insights to be used alongside overnight ratings.
October 25, 2012

Channel 4 is partnering with a social TV analytics company to study the programs viewers are watching via social media channels.

Bristol- and London-based form SecondSync will track and analyze social media chatter around the British pubcaster’s programming to come up with insights that can be used alongside traditional audience metrics, namely the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) overnight ratings. The network is also looking at incorporating the data into other aspects of its business, including content, insights, marketing and ad sales.

“Channel 4′s audience is ahead of the curve when it comes to ‘dual screening’ and it is vital that we understand the implications this has both for our own programming and the advertising environment we offer,” said Sue Gray, C4′s head of advertising research and development, in a statement. “The ‘real time’ nature of social TV response is fascinating but it is not a simple surrogate for audience engagement and varies hugely by genre.”

The deal marks the first SecondSync has signed with a UK broadcaster. “The social data around their Paralympics broadcasts is fascinating and we are already helping their team unlock insights that can benefit their business,” said company director Andy Littledale.

Earlier this week, U.S. cable network Bravo unveiled a social TV research study conducted with Latitude Research that found its viewers are less likely to skip through commercials if they watch television while using other devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.

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