Nielsen study links Twitter chatter with TV ratings

Nielsen study links Twitter chatter with TV ratings

A frenzy of Twitter chatter about a broadcast program generally means more viewers are tuning in. Photo: Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A frenzy of Twitter chatter about a broadcast program generally means more viewers are tuning in, while more popular TV shows generate more Twitter activity, a new study by Nielsen has found.

The media measurement firm says that for the first time it has proved with statistical rigor what many in the media business have suspected in recent years: that a show’s ratings and the magnitude of its Twitter buzz are correlated.

The findings will be announced on Tuesday by Nielsen, who claims the results back up the premise of a new ratings system it will soon unveil.

Nielsen and Twitter are set to begin publishing this fall a new “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” that measures the volume of Twitter conversation about every program.

The privately-held microblogging company has long sought to convince large brand marketers that it is a potent, real-time ad-delivery platform that complements and augments the live television-viewing experience. Marketers on TV can simultaneously reach their audience through a “second screen” because Twitter users often watch TV while tweeting away on their phones, Twitter has previously argued.

In the new study, Nielsen researchers analyzed a total of 221 episodes. The volume of tweets caused statistically significant changes to live TV ratings for 29 percent of the episodes, Nielsen said, without quantifying the degree of Twitter’s influence on ratings.

The companies said the analysis methodology used for their study was developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Clive Granger.

Latest Stories

in Music

Elton John marks World AIDS Day with call to action


The "Rocket Man" star has spent years campaigning and raising money to fight HIV/AIDS with his Elton John AIDS Foundation, and he recently announced a special partnership with the U.S. government.

in National, Sports

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber to argue for new trial

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo

Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court on Tuesday to seek a new trial for their client, who was sentenced to death in June for the 2013 bomb attack that killed three people and injured more than 260.

in Sports

Kentucky remains on top


The Wildcats are off to a 7-0 start and got 59 of the first place votes.