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.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Dolphins fire coach Joe Philbin


Joe Philbin has been fired four games into his fourth season as coach of the Miami Dolphins, and one day after a flop on an international stage sealed his fate.

in Sports

Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to baseball antitrust immunity


The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Major League Baseball’s long-standing exemption from U.S. antitrust laws brought by San Jose as part of the city's effort to become the new home of the Oakland Athletics.

in Local

BC woman injured in motorcycle crash

ambulance 1

Drugs or alcohol involved

in National

Student loan debt crosses generations


Weighed down by their own loans, many parents lack the means to fund their children's educations without sinking even deeper into debt.

in Local Sports

Jake Locker going into Legion baseball Hall of Fame

the zone jake locker in studio

Former Mariner Mike Blowers and current big leaguer Grady Sizemore also entering Hall