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Fahey Rush: 90% of Viewers Hear About New Shows Through Word of Mouth #NextTV

The primary way people discover new shows is through friends and family in person, according to a new study highlighted Thursday by Viacom executive VP/chief research officer Colleen Fahey Rush at the Next TV Summit & Expo San Francisco.

Fahey Rush, who was joined on stage for the keynote Q&A by Multichannel News Editor-in-Chief and moderator Mark Robichaux, said that 90% of study respondents indicated they find out about their next must-see program via word of mouth.

TV promos - another old fashioned way as Fahey Rush put it — came in as the No. 2 way people discover new shows with 85% of respondents citing this methodology as how they find new programs. 

The findings are part of a larger Viacom study titled “Getting With the Program,” which was conducted to find out how people watch TV.

“There’s never been a better time to be a fan,” said Fahey Rush, who joined the company in 1996, explaining later in her presentation that viewers have more ways to watch than ever and they will continue to combine how they consume.

But with all this technology she doesn’t see traditional modalities to watch will go away.

“I think it’s [cable] going to last a long, long time,” she said.

Other highlights from the study included:

—Top discovery device is television with 77% of respondents saying TV is how they find new shows.

—When a person becomes a fan of a show, 61% are likely to recommend that show to others in-person and 38% invite another person to watch.

—Consumers like marathoning (defined as three or more episodes of the same program in one day). Eighty-two percent of viewers marathon earlier seasons to catch up with the current season.

—With more ways for people to watch their favorite shows, more viewing is happening.

—More than half of respondents watch live TV (56%).

—Viewers currently watch what they want, when they want. In the future, viewers will watch anything, where, when and how they want with many respondents believing the future will give them more options to consume their favorite shows.