Nielsen: Twitter could increase TV premiere sizes

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 14 January 2015

Now that the 2014 autumn TV premiere season has concluded, Nielsen has evaluated how Twitter TV activity could have been used to anticipate the sizes of the audiences that watched the premiere episodes of those programmes. While the findings do not necessarily mean that Twitter TV activity causes larger audience sizes, the ratings group found that brands could have used Twitter promotions to boost awareness—and by extrapolation, audiences.

"This is notable because if Twitter TV activity could be used alongside other data sources to help determine TV audiences, then agencies could fine-tune their buys before the premieres," Nielsen said. "Networks could identify potential winners and challenges earlier to maximise ad sales and course-correct marketing activities. And, to the extent that social media leads people to become aware of new shows, networks could leverage Twitter TV activity to better reach their intended audiences."

Nielsen analysed 42 broadcast and cable series premieres, including English- and Spanish-language programming, from late August through early November, looking for a correlation between how many times viewers 18-34 saw TV promotions for a specific programme and the size of that programme's audience for the premiere episode.

"Naturally, we would expect highly promoted programmes to garner larger audiences, and that is what we saw," it said in its post on the subject. "In other words, without including Twitter TV data in the analysis, we confirmed that programmes that were promoted more substantially saw higher premiere audiences. To be truly useful then, Twitter TV activity would need to tell an additional story on top of what we already know from promotions alone."