Nielsen and Twitter Will Introduce Social TV Rating

Interesting. Nielsen and Twitter are joining forces to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Under the multi-year agreement, Twitter and Nielsen will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, set to be available at the beginning of the 2013 TV Season.

The stats could be interesting, but by no means indicative of how popular a show is. For instance, I’m assuming that show that have intense fan bases like Glee, for instance, would have higher social networking engagment than some programs that score higher ratings. Plus, once fans get wind that twitter is being meas would imagine social network activity from the fans of Glee would be higher than many shows that score higher ratings. Plus, I would expect annoying twitter fan behavior like attempts to trend related phrases and what not will increase. Yay.

Check out the press release below:

Exclusive Agreement Creates “Nielsen Twitter TV rating,” the Definitive Reach Metric for Social TV Audience Measurement and Analytics

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, December 17, 2012 – Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, and Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Under this agreement, Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.

“The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating is a significant step forward for the industry, particularly as programmers develop increasingly captivating live TV and new second-screen experiences, and advertisers create integrated ad campaigns that combine paid and earned media,” said Steve Hasker, President, Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen. “As a media measurement leader we recognize that Twitter is the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data.”

“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,” said Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s vice president of media. “This effort reflects Nielsen’s foresight into the evolving nature of the TV viewing experience, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Twitter ecosystem partners on this metric to help broadcasters and advertisers create truly social TV experiences.”

TV viewers discuss TV on Twitter, creating a new dynamic between audiences and programming. The service’s more than 140 million active users send one billion Tweets every two and a half days, the vast majority of which is public and conversational, making Twitter data a necessity in producing standardized metrics representing online and mobile conversations about television.

The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will serve to complement Nielsen’s existing TV ratings, giving TV networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to understand TV audience social activity. These ratings will build on top of NM Incite’s SocialGuide audience engagement analytics platform. NM Incite is a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Co., and the hub of Nielsen’s social media analytics efforts.

“The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has generated a substantial ‘connected’ TV audience that is simultaneously watching television and accessing the Internet through these devices. This, in turn, will continue to create the opportunity for content providers like CBS to offer engaging interactive features for our viewers. As this form of viewer engagement evolves into a mainstream activity, it presents ways for CBS to enhance the viewing experience for our viewers and our advertisers. We are already engaged with Nielsen and Twitter in a program of research and experimentation in this exciting new area,” said David F. Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation. “We are pleased to see Nielsen and Twitter join together to provide a comprehensive measurement system that will allow us to employ these social networking tools to their full advantage.”

“Twitter is a powerful messenger and a lot of fun for fans of our shows, providing them with the opportunity to engage, connect and voice their opinions directly to each other and us,” said Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO, Fox Networks Group. “Combining the instant feedback of Twitter with Nielsen ratings will benefit us, program producers, and our advertising partners.”

Follow Me!

mj santilli

Founder/Editor at
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
Follow Me!

  • Incipit

    Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.

    “Commercial availability”. OK, Then. I see people are still trying to find a way to monetize Twitter. This is pretty clever – they don’t actually say that Twitter indicates anything but interest,  but they will sell companies a rating system that incorporates something they need to know with something they don’t even know what difference it makes. Enterprising. Heh.

  • No Thanks

    Fascinating.  But I would REALLY like to see is the ratings/views of online streaming and cable “on demand”.  Because I quite often catch up on my favorite shows with that method.  I can’t always be available to watch stuff when it originally airs.

  • Alexandre Oliveira

    Wow, that will be really good for shows like The X Factor, that went global because of the social networks

  • mjsbigblog

    I don’t see how TV chatter on twitter can translate into…much of anything substantial as far as targeting advertising to viewers.

    Unless  they plan to grab info on the folks engaging in the conversations–like who they are following, conversations about other topics. The usual really intrusive stuff.

  • Axxxel

    ]If people know that twitter will influence ratings. some People will be too busy on twitter to notice the advertisings on TV… I just hope they are not too busy on twitter and still spend some time on live blogs..even if the latter does not influence ratings.
    TV programs should then also assign  people who can initiate trends… I wonder who initiated #adamisadiva before the VH1 program ? a fan ? but initiating trends is good for the TV program, so maybe more people will talk about the TVprogram. However does it mean that there will be more viewers of that program who will eventually watch more advertising ?

  • Claude Dee

    +1000000 points for X Factor then? Lol

  • Incipit

    I don’t see how TV chatter on twitter can translate into…much of anything substantial as far as targeting advertising to viewers.

    Exactly, mj. I know a few people who work in that realm of social apps applied to marketing – and they have concluded the same thing as the posters here – Twitter doesn’t monetize. 

    Unless, obviously, someone finds a way to include the random twitter information with hard metrics, even though it has no relevance – and sell that as a package. Neilson found a way to make some money from Twitter, for the moment…interesting to see how long it lasts?

  • waynestrong

    Its easy to fake tens of thousands of twitter accounts and tweets. I would not want to be an advertiser doing media buys based on twitter numbers. 

  • Tyson

    Nielsen can develop any new metric it wants.  The question is whether advertisers will pay.  I agree with the consensus.  No way.

    Advertisers don’t care about what shows you watch.  They care about what commercials you see.  Networks care about what matters to advertisers.

    Viewers think they’re the customers but they’re wrong.  The advertisers are the customers.  The viewers are the hamburgers in the fast-food joint we know as American broadcast television.  The advertisers are the people buying tailor-made sandwiches (not too old, not too poor, no DVR, etc.).

  • Kariann Hart

    There may also be a good portion of viewers who simply don’t have a Twitter account.  There is no way to get complete and accurate ratings with the use of DVRs, the Internet, and Infinity One.

  • Bbabie

    OK let me add my pepper and salt to this:-)

    Twitter has always been  a brilliant broadcast medium.  It is made to generate audiences for TV, films, politics, Music, sports, business and more. I fall into social business/information category.

    Here is how I see where its going: First we use twitter as a live TV companion; Second it is now the new TV Guide; Third its about to become the new TV ratings guide-which makes sense.This is just the beginning of what Twitter can do.

    How accurate is  it?Twitter uses something called algorithm which calculates and identify data before it happens. Hence it predicts trends why not  ratings? 

     @Kariann Hart is right.  How accurate will it be as there are many without  an account. True! But Many come on twitter just to view information only and never post. There are other mediums that are measuring what others are watching and saying on other platforms as well. Twitter is the main one. Its where  millions of conversation happen. Even Hollywood has found Twitter to be a predictor of hits or flops. 

    -90%  view twitter for  music Billboard 100.
    -75% view twitter for TV  Nielson top 25 broadcast and cable.
    and there is more…

    Lets wait and see how this works out. But I believe its time for a new medium and the name is TWITTER. Why not Facebook? Well its not an instant medium you can measure quickly in real time:-)