Cultural Currency: Where Television Meets Social

Chief Research Officer Stacey Lynn Schulman Releases TVB Study

TVB June 2013 Vlog Stacey Schulman
  Online social media has replaced Main Street USA as more and more citizens meet, develop, and maintain relationships in virtual reality. Whether to offset busy lives, physical distance, or just plain loneliness, social media has changed the way we are meeting and getting to know one another. Absent shared experiences in the physical world, virtual social friends “connect” and bond through what is easily known – the products of our mass culture industries – Music, Film and Television. It is here that we begin to see how Culture becomes Currency and why there will always be a need for its mass production.

Mainstream media products have now become the glue that connects our virtual and physical lives and just like
monetary currencies, different cultural products provide different value. TVB has engaged in a year-long study of Cultural Currency and its relevance to the television industry, specifically. Operationally, mass culture products need to meet two conditions to achieve Cultural Currency:
  • A large audience of fans/customers/users
  • Above average use within social interactions

Across 4400 broadcast and cable programs in primetime television during 2012, broadcast generated the lion's share of cultural currency:

The Cultural Currency Map of Primetime Entertainment Television

The Cultural Currency Map of Primetime Entertainment Television
Source: TVB/Colligent Cultural Currency Study. Nielsen Media Research P12 + Live + 7 Day Weighted program Impressions. Colligent P13 + Cultural Currency Reach %.

Evaluating the Cultural Currency value of television provides a roadmap for programmers and marketers seeking media environments that can help their brands transcend the moment and gain tangible traction with consumers. Different media channels drive different social media behaviors and reap different benefits for marketing partners. In the television medium, national networks and local stations work together to drive cultural currency transactions through common ground. Nationally, television networks provide the common ground to make connections, while locally, TV stations curate common ground to build the communities who ultimately make purchases. In the end, of course, all sales are local.


TVB's Cultural Currency Study SummaryCultural Currency: Where Television Meets Social (PDF)

In the Media:
Digital Journal: Social TV use increases as Facebook follows Twitter's lead
Talk NYC: Social TV - Does it Draw New Viewers? New Research Sheds Important Light




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