TV Dominates Trending Topics on Twitter: VAB

If you think what’s talked about on Twitter is significant, then what happens on TV is important.

In a new #TVisSocial report, the Video Advertising Bureau, which represents many of the big TV networks and distributors, says that TV shows and other televised events dominate the topics that trend on the social messaging service.

By documenting TV’s oversized presence in the Twitterverse, the VAB seems to be arguing to advertisers that TV content is relevant at a time when marketing dollars are flowing to TV’s digital competitors.

Related: Talent Powers TV’s Social Media Engagement: Nielsen

“When it comes to media content, nothing else gets people talking online like ad-supported TV programs,” argues the report, the fourth in a series from the VAB since 2016.

The TVB’s analysis found that from Sept. 24 through Oct. 21—roughly the beginning of the new broadcast season—topics based on ad supported TV programming represented 84% of the top trending topics on Twitter.

Ad-supported TV topics were 53% of those that climbed to No. 1 among those trending. During the research period, a TV-related topic was No. 1 27 nights and 444 topics in all trended.

Programming from at least 47 networks trended during primetime. Twitter’s top 10 including 87 ad-supported TV programs compared to 3 for YouTube and two for Netflix.

The report said one reason for ad-supported TV’s strength on Twitter is because so much of TV is seen live, including sports.

Speaking of sports, at least one televised sporting event had a related topic trend on Twitter each night. Entertainment programming from TV trended on 85% of the nights studied.

“At first it’s the scale of nightly commitment to live, ad-supported TV that impresses,” said VAB CEO Sean Cunningham. “But secondly - the fact that 84% is a new high for ad-supported TV among top-trending Twitter topics - just as the majority of TV viewers are using second screens while watching live – that’s the real boon for advertisers needing to mobilize customers every night.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.