Nielsen study shows connection between TV ratings and Twitter activity

In recent years, social media has altered the way we interact with each other, and according to a Nielsen study released today, it's also changing the way we consume media. While it may sound like a common sense conclusion to anyone who witnessed the storm of tweets surrounding the SyFy phenomenon Sharknado, Nielsen has uncovered a statistical link between what people tweet and what people watch. Basically, the more people tweet about a particular show, the more people will watch it. Likewise, the higher a program's viewership, the more likely people are to discuss it on Twitter in real time. Certain types of programming -- reality TV, comedies and sports -- showed a higher percentage of ratings changes influenced by social media, while things like scripted dramas showed a smaller but still noticeable uptick. The times are a-changin', and studies like this one are bound to inspire broadcasters and advertisers to change with them.