Insights

How Canadians take to Twitter to upsize their TV viewing experience

By Alyson Gausby
Monday, 28 August 2017

Each fall, the new TV season ushers in a fresh wave of discussion on Twitter about the biggest programs and stars on the small screen. This is especially true in Canada where TV viewers turn to Twitter to augment and enhance their TV viewing experience, according to new research from our Twitter Canada team.

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71% of Canadians on Twitter use the platform while watching television. Movies and TV combined are the #1 interest of Canadian Twitter users, a greater interest than sports, politics or music. That translates to more than 8 million Canadians using Twitter every week as part of their TV viewing experience.

We went deeper with Canadians on Twitter to see how and why they used Twitter while watching TV. Here’s what they told us:

  • 36% of Canadian Twitter users say Twitter helps them find new shows
  • 35% say it helps them decide what to watch
  • 41% say it helps build anticipation for a show
  • 41% say Twitter makes TV feel more interactive
  • 43% say it makes TV more enjoyable
  • 50% say Twitter makes TV feel more like a shared experience

The immediacy of Twitter means Canadians aren’t just waiting until ad breaks to hop on their smartphones or tablets. Canadians tune in to Twitter to see real-time reactions to what's happening and extend engagement beyond the broadcast window: 33% use the platform to talk about TV prior to their favourite shows, 67% use it during the show and 50% do so after.

Twitter can also be a great resource for catching up and/or bringing clarity to plotlines. 48% of Canadian Twitter users say Twitter helps make sure they didn’t miss anything on their favourite shows, while 43% say that Twitter is helpful in explaining a show or catching them up on what they missed.

Hashtags are also a big part of the TV experience on Twitter, aggregating conversation and making it easy for fans to follow along. 35% of Canadians on Twitter say that if their favourite show has a hashtag, they will follow it, while 27% of users are more likely to watch a TV show or channel with its own hashtag.

Canada’s Biggest Stars and Most Mentioned Programs

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Many top Canadian TV actors are also avid Twitter users. We looked at a snapshot of the Top 20 Canadian Twitter accounts of 2017, ranked in terms of Twitter mentions. This list included Shay Mitchell (@shaymitch) of the recently-wrapped Pretty Little Liars, Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) of Arrow and Nina Dobrev (@ninadobrev), formerly of The Vampire Diaries.

We also looked at which TV programs have generated the highest volume of conversation amongst Canadian Twitter users in recent months. Between April 2016 and May 2017, these were the most mentioned programs amongst Canadian Twitter users, not including televised sports or news programs.

  1. Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones)
  2. Big Brother (@CBSBigBrother)
  3. Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl)
  4. Grey's Anatomy (@GreysABC)
  5. Big Brother Canada (@BigBrotherCA)
  6. Supernatural (@cw_spn)
  7. The Voice (@NBCTheVoice)
  8. The Vampire Diaries (@cwtvd)
  9. Once Upon a Time (@OnceABC)
  10. General Hospital (@GeneralHospital)

Keep tabs on Twitter this fall and year-round for the latest action, reactions and conversation about television.

 

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@@AlysonGausby

Alyson Gausby

‎@@AlysonGausby‎

Head of Research, Twitter Canada

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