Nielsen introduces Twitter TV ratings

October 8, 2013 07.22 Europe/London By Robert Briel, MIPCOM, Cannes

Nielsen has launched Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, the measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter.

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings measure not only “authors”—the number of people tweeting about TV programs – but also the much larger “audience” of people who actually view those Tweets.

Initial analysis of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings reveals that the Twitter TV audience for an episode is, on average, 50 times larger than the authors who are generating Tweets. For example, if 2,000 people are tweeting about a programme, 100,000 people are seeing those Tweets.

This multiplier varies across shows, with early data showing the ratio of the audience to the authors generally decreases (meaning the multiplier is smaller) as the number of authors for an episode increases. This is due to the increasing overlap of followers for shows with a large number of Twitter authors, where a single follower is increasingly likely to follow multiple authors.

Twitter conversation about live TV in the US has grown dramatically over the past two years – 19 million unique people in the US composed 263 million Tweets about live TV in Q2 2013 alone, a 24% year-over-year increase in authors and a 38% increase in Tweet volume, according to SocialGuide.

“We are just beginning to understand the dynamic relationship between social media and television,” says Beth Rockwood, SVP, market resources and ad sales research at Discovery Communications.

“The Talking Social TV Study conducted through the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) has demonstrated that, particularly for ‘TV Super Connectors’, social media is an integral part of their relationship with television, and that different demographics and genres behave in unique ways.

“New tools, like the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, that allow us to further investigate the relationship between individual programs and social media will bring new insights and raise new questions. We look forward to having the opportunity to look at the new broadcast season through the lens of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.”

“Social TV is transforming TV from something we watch to something we do,” says Graeme Hutton, senior vice president of research, Universal McCann.

“The potential value of SocialGuide and Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings is that it provides a pathway for an advertiser to turn audience energy into brand momentum. In particular, it should be valuable in developing brand activation strategies, and highlighting potential new programming areas for brands which may have previously been viewed as outside their comfort zone.”

Along with Nielsen’s existing SocialGuide solutions for Twitter TV measurement, analytics and engagement, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings represent Nielsen’s latest innovation in enabling the media industry to harness the power of social media.

“The Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are a powerful measurement with far-reaching implications for the industry,” said Steve Hasker, president, global product leadership, Nielsen. “It’s exciting that investments are being made to build 360 degree engagement—and drive passion from viewers—around programming. This holistic measure of how Twitter activity influences TV engagement will bring clarity to the value of those efforts.”

Built on the SocialGuide platform, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are available for TV programming across over 215 English-language US broadcast and cable networks.