Nielsen and Twitter Team Up to Launch Social TV Rating

Nielsen and Twitter Team Up to Launch Social TV Rating

By: Katy Ryan Schamberger
December 26, 2012

twitter nielsen social tvWhether TV viewers are live-tweeting about their favorite show or the show itself is promoting a branded hashtag, there’s no denying that Twitter has become increasingly intertwined with television. And, as a result, measurement and information giant Nielsen has teamed up with Twitter to establish a social TV rating that will deliver “a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter.”

This new rating will complement Nielsen’s existing TV ratings, which will give networks and advertisers valuable, real-time metrics that will help them better understand TV audience social activity. After all, Twitter is a virtual treasure trove of information, and a site that Steve Hasker, president of Nielsen Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions, calls “a preeminent source of real-time television engagement data.” Stats from Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report show that the percentage of active Twitter users tweeting about TV has risen throughout 2012, reaching 33% in June (as pictured below).

twitter tv stats

And what’s more, active Twitter users send 1 billion tweets every 2.5 days, a volume of information that Nielsen calls “a necessity in producing standardized metrics representing online and mobile conversations about television.”

The new rating system will take effect in fall 2013 and will encompass both those participating in the Twitter conversation and those exposed to the activity. As a result, industry stakeholders will get a clear picture of the number of unique tweets associated with a given program, as well as rankings for the most social TV programs.

We’ve been fascinated by the continued integration of Twitter and television—and, yes, we completely admit to live-tweeting our favorite awards shows, sporting events and, in my case, anything and everything having to do with the WWE.

And the fact that Nielsen is prepared to gather this data in a way that will be helpful and meaningful to TV executives and advertisers shows that they’re tapped into the future of television, something that’s becoming an increasingly multi-screen experience.

We’re excited to see the subsequent reports that are published starting next fall—we expect they’ll be a data lover’s dream. What will be equally interesting is how marketers, executives and advertisers will use the data to create a more tailored experience for their viewing audience. After all, data doesn’t mean much if you don’t put it to work—and that’s a key step that’s often missed in the larger marketing and advertising equation.

What do you think of the Nielsen/Twitter partnership?

Lead image via HarshPatel;Photographer via Creative Commons

  • I think it is about time. It gets the viewer more involved.

  • Agreed, Jacqueline! These two mediums are becoming increasingly intertwined, so it only makes sense to more formally measure the output. Thanks for stopping by!

  • This is SO exciting to me, everything around second screen technology and social TV is already of interest, as independent groups have rallied around the use of social to show their support for shows that seemed to get off to a rough ratings start, but didn’t match up to the amount of people who are watching and engaging.

    I live tweet my most favorite shows too – I even belong to groups I found pre-get glue or into now, that all watch the same show that was in jeopardy, only to be rescued at least in part by an enthusiastic fan base. One Fringe fan group even though to thank and discuss the sponsors of each show at one point.

    When Hulu first came out, one of the most exciting things to me was reading feedback on episodes the next day. I fantasized that network executives and future TV writers were reading this feedback, and shows like Better Off Ted and Arrested Development wouldn’t find the wastebasket so quickly if this data was considered.

  • ShellyKramer

    I’m with you, Tinu. I’m always watching with my device in hand. Well, that and beer :)))

    Very exciting (and smart) indeed. Happy New Year to you, lady!

  • Happy New Year to you too. 🙂 Honestly I feel weird watching TV without my tablet or device, unless someone is physically in the room with me watching the same show.

    Never thought I’d be excited about watching more TV….

  • I hope that it means smaller shows and other networks have a chance to be considered. Not being N-Twitter Rated may be considered a handicap when it comes to what you can charge for advertising. If they decide NOT to allow smaller shows and networks in on the party, we WILL make up our own using twitter data alone. That I can do right now.

    Dr. Wright
    Host and producer of the Wright Place TV Show

  • I think it will because Twitter measurements goes to how much a person is involved with a show. i’d rather advertise )and pay more!) to a small, well targeted audience than a huge general one.

    Also, I still think that online and offline, smaller shows and networks should start appealing to small business with premium price direct offers. I don’t have enough knowledge to see if there’s a set up for this other than through product placement. But there should be. TV is getting more niche targeted and long tail, and so should advertising. Maybe the “fringe” shows can create a cottage industry for this before the bigger powers catch on.

  • RS

    as being someone who enjoys TV and social media I look forward to this just hope they do a better job on this project versus their surveys. I have taken several of their surveys and they are long, boring and not well put together. They should look into other survey applications–Qualtrics for example–anything would be an improvement–but this app is a great tool for online surveys

  • I’m really excited about this! I feel like Twitter is hands-down the most accurate way to get feedback about what viewers are thinking in real time. There are several YouTube personalities (like WhatTheBuck, for example) that “live tweet” and interact and discuss tv shows with viewers while the show is actually happening, which in my opinion alters the tv watching experience altogether. If I can’t make it home in time to watch a show that I’m really in to, rule #1 is to stay away from Facebook and Twitter, because if something big happened, EVERYONE is already talking about it. Smart move, Nielsen.