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Twitter Users Love TV So Much They'll Pay to Watch

A survey that's music to TV's ears: Twitter users are more likely to watch TV, and to pay for it.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

The TV Industrial Complex is having a ratings problem, an advertising problem and a subscriber problem.

But if everyone used Twitter, those problems would go away!

Or, at least, get less bad. This is the suggestion Twitter has been making to the TV industry for some time, and today it has a study to help make its case: New research from Ipsos indicates that Twitter users are more likely to have a pay-TV subscription, and more likely to watch traditional TV, than people who don’t use the service.

That cord-cutting data point in particular might surprise you, since you’re reading this site and thus are more likely to be in the “I’m cutting the cord / everyone I know has cut the cord / I sure would like to cut the cord” camp. And you’d think the early adopter crowd that still has significant influence on Twitter would be more likely to be in that camp with you.

But Ipsos says 93 percent of Twitter users have a pay-TV subscription, compared to 86 percent of non-Twitter users.

And Ipsos says Twitter users are more likely to watch TV — both via traditional means and over the Web — than people who don’t use Twitter.

These aren’t always dramatic differences — 66 percent of non-Twitter users surveyed by Ipsos, for instance, say they watch cable TV once a week, and that number only bumps up to 67 percent for Twitter users. Still, in aggregate, they are striking enough that Twitter and Ipsos put together a nice infographic, which you can see here.

Again, this paper does a nice job of backing up the pitch that Twitter has been making to the TV business for several years now — people love using Twitter and TV together, and if you work with us we’ll boost your business — so it’s not a total shock.

The downside for the TV guys is that Twitter’s scale problem gets more acute here: Twitter has 284 million users, which is a lot of people, but only 63 million of them are in the United States, so it’s harder for them to have a demonstrable effect on any one network or TV show. Still, as TV audiences and ad dollars and subscriber rolls all shrink, the TV guys will take any help they can get.

If you want to hear a more eloquent version of Twitter’s pitch, listen to Twitter media boss Katie Jacobs Stanton, who makes a version of it all the time. This one came at our Code/Media San Francisco event last week:

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