Marketing Social Media

Social TV Metric Revealed by Nielsen and Twitter


Nielsen, the company that set the industry-standard measurement of American TV audiences, has teamed up with Twitter to measure the reach of “social TV.” Simply named the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating,” the exclusive agreement marks the creation of a tool that will analyze and measure programming reach around TV conversations on the social network. In a Nielsen and Twitter press release, the company said the new product would be available at the beginning of the fall 2013 TV season.

The new social metric is a “significant step forward” for the company, said Steve Hasker, Nielsen’s president of global media products and advertiser solutions, and will make for a useful tool for programmers, advertisers and marketers as content and “captivating live TV and second-screen experiences” become more developed, he added. “As a media measurement leader we recognize that Twitter is the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data.”

Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s vice president of media, said, “Our users love the shared experience of watching television while engaging with other viewers and show talent. Twitter has become the world’s digital water cooler, where conversations about TV happen in real time. Nielsen is who the networks rely on to give better content to viewers and clearer results to marketers.”

Social TV and the Prospects for Content Marketing on the Second Screen

Content marketers are aware that Twitter channels the world’s conversations and provides real-time insights into global happenings. What some may not realize is the increasing popularity of social TV. Like many subjects, TV is discussed by fans on Twitter, and this creates a new relationship between programs and their audience. Twitter estimates that its “140 million active users send one billion tweets every two and a half days,” most of which are publicly available and conversational.

The Nielsen and Twitter metric will be of specific interest to marketers engaged in creating content for the second-screen (smartphones and tablets), especially those working for mainstream broadcasters. It will provide a new means of tracking the audience and analyzing social conversations around programming. As Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO, Fox Networks Group notes, “Combining the instant feedback of Twitter with Nielsen ratings will benefit us, program producers, and our advertising partners.”

The product seems to take content analysis and strategy into new territory, combining broadcast and digital media content sensibilities. It remains to be seen how accurate or relevant this new interdisciplinary approach to measurements is; however, Nielsen and Twitter have convinced major broadcasters such as CBS and Fox to participate.

The new metric will focus on tweets surrounding TV programs, specifically American television (there is no international version planned yet), and this will provide real-time insights into the audiences which marketers are working for. This can provide data such as what is popular, what content the audience wants more of and their dislikes — all very useful information for content marketers. As more smartphones and tablets are sold, the use of the second screen and social TV will be more prevalent, and in 2013 this trend looks to continue.

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