Nielsen announced late last year that it would create a rating system to track how much engagement TV shows are getting on Twitter, and now the list is available. The system tracks the number of tweets about a particular TV episode (sports events are excluded) and the number of people posting about it, as well as the number of times those tweets were seen and by how many accounts. Nielsen reports that sometimes the amount of action on Twitter aligns closely with viewer ratings -- the Breaking Bad finale topped the week of September 23rd on Twitter -- but shows like CBS sitcoms top traditional ratings without causing much conversation. This week, ABC's Scandal topped the list as Miley Cyrus accounted for the next two spots with her MTV special and Saturday Night Live episode. All of this comes at a crucial time for Twitter as it nears its IPO and seeks a path to profitability, which may be fueled by its use as a companion for TV watching. Whether or not this helps broadcasters focus on the best of TV programming remains to be seen, or if our screens will be so full of hashtags there won't be anything left to watch.
NIELSEN LAUNCHES 'NIELSEN TWITTER TV RATINGS'
Metrics include first-ever measure of how many people view TV-related Tweets
New York – Oct. 7, 2013 – Today Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, announced the commercial launch of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, the first-ever 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 program, 100,000 people are seeing those Tweets. This multiplier varies across programs, 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 U.S. has grown dramatically over the past two years-19 million unique people in the U.S. composed 263 million Tweets about live TV in Q2 2013 alone, a 24 percent year-over-year increase in authors and a 38 percent increase in Tweet volume, according to SocialGuide. Until now, only the amount of Tweets and respective Twitter authors has been measurable. Without a measurement of the audience of people who view those Tweets, TV networks, advertisers and agencies were left wondering about the true reach and influence of TV-related activity on Twitter. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings complete the picture by measuring both Twitter TV-specific activity (Authors, Tweets) and reach (Unique Audience, Impressions).
Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings enable TV networks to measure the full Twitter engagement surrounding their programs, to measure the effectiveness of Twitter TV-related audience engagement strategies, and to better understand the relationship between Twitter and tune-in. Additionally, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings assist agencies and advertisers in making data-driven media planning and buying decisions that incorporate the full impact of Twitter TV.
"We are just beginning to understand the dynamic relationship between social media and television," says Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, 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."
"Our recent real-time marketing activities across brands like Oreo, Wheat Thins and Trident have shown us how live engagement can drive brand loyalty and business growth. But Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are opening up a whole new world: they enable us to amplify our brand messages by taking full advantage of social TV engagement," said Bonin Bough, vice president, global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz International. "Knowing in advance what the effective Twitter TV engagement is around key events is game-changing and will enable us to connect even more efficiently with our consumers."
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 U.S. broadcast and cable networks. Nielsen is currently working with Twitter to accurately measure and report Spanish-language networks. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are a separate set of measures that complement traditional National TV Ratings. They do not change the traditional National TV Ratings.
Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings deliver overnight metrics into two platforms: SocialGuide Intelligence and Nielsen National TV View. In addition, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings Weekly Top Ten list will be available at SocialGuide.com, highlighting the highest-ranking episodes by Twitter TV audience on a weekly basis.
More information about Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings can be found at www.socialguide.com. More details around the initial analysis of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are available here.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
SocialGuide (www.socialguide.com), a Nielsen Company, is the leading provider of social TV measurement, analytics and audience engagement solutions. SocialGuide identifies, captures and analyzes conversation on Twitter in real time for every program aired across 247 of the most popular U.S. television networks, including Spanish language networks. SocialGuide uses this data to power its SocialGuide Intelligence platform and Twitter TV API Suite. SocialGuide also delivers Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, the first-ever measure of the total reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter.