With or without you: Connected viewing and co-viewing Twitter activity for traditional appointment and asynchronous broadcast television models
Social networking services like Twitter have changed the way people engage with traditional broadcast media. But how social is “second screen” activity? The purpose of this study is to determine if patterns of connected viewing (augmenting television consumption with a second screen) and co-viewing (watching television together) are different for traditionally broadcast, “appointment” television shows versus streaming, asynchronous television releases. This study explores this phenomena of “co-connected viewing” — a combination of connected and co-viewing — on Twitter for four programs that were all released within seven days of each other: Parks and Recreation, Downton Abbey, House of Cards , and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt . Complete datasets (over 200,000 tweets) from 72 hours’ worth of Twitter activity for four television programs, two traditional and two streaming, were collected and analyzed. In terms of co-connected viewing, the study found that despite radically different broadcast models and corresponding shapes in Twitter activity, the ratios of social to non-social tweets were nearly identical. Additionally, the study found that the asynchronous, streaming Netflix shows saw more engagement from active Twitter users. Finally, implications are discussed for viewers, fans, advertisers, and the television industry, as well as directions for future research.