Nielsen Launches 'Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings'

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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October 7th, 2013

Twitter bird

via press release:

Nielsen Launches ‘Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings’

Metrics include first-ever measure of how many people view TV-related Tweets

New York – Oct. 7, 2013 – Today Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, announced the commercial launch of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, the first-ever measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings measure not only “authors”—the number of people tweeting about TV programs—but also the much larger “audience” of people who actually view those Tweets.

Initial analysis of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings reveals that the Twitter TV audience for an episode is, on average, 50 times larger than the authors who are generating Tweets. For example, if 2,000 people are tweeting about a program, 100,000 people are seeing those Tweets. This multiplier varies across programs, with early data showing the ratio of the audience to the authors generally decreases (meaning the multiplier is smaller) as the number of authors for an episode increases. This is due to the increasing overlap of followers for shows with a large number of Twitter authors, where a single follower is increasingly likely to follow multiple authors.

Twitter conversation about live TV in the U.S. has grown dramatically over the past two years—19 million unique people in the U.S. composed 263 million Tweets about live TV in Q2 2013 alone, a 24 percent year-over-year increase in authors and a 38 percent increase in Tweet volume, according to SocialGuide. Until now, only the amount of Tweets and respective Twitter authors has been measurable. Without a measurement of the audience of people who view those Tweets, TV networks, advertisers and agencies were left wondering about the true reach and influence of TV-related activity on Twitter. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings complete the picture by measuring both Twitter TV-specific activity (Authors, Tweets) and reach (Unique Audience, Impressions).

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings enable TV networks to measure the full Twitter engagement surrounding their programs, to measure the effectiveness of Twitter TV-related audience engagement strategies, and to better understand the relationship between Twitter and tune-in. Additionally, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings assist agencies and advertisers in making data-driven media planning and buying decisions that incorporate the full impact of Twitter TV.

“We are just beginning to understand the dynamic relationship between social media and television,” says Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, market resources and ad sales research at Discovery Communications. “The ‘Talking Social TV’ Study’ conducted through the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) has demonstrated that, particularly for ‘TV Super Connectors’, social media is an integral part of their relationship with television, and that different demographics and genres behave in unique ways. New tools, like the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, that allow us to further investigate the relationship between individual programs and social media will bring new insights and raise new questions. We look forward to having the opportunity to look at the new broadcast season through the lens of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.”

“Social TV is transforming TV from something we watch to something we do,” says Graeme Hutton, senior vice president of research, Universal McCann. “The potential value of SocialGuide and Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings is that it provides a pathway for an advertiser to turn audience energy into brand momentum. In particular, it should be valuable in developing brand activation strategies, and highlighting potential new programming areas for brands which may have previously been viewed as outside their comfort zone.”

"Our recent real-time marketing activities across brands like Oreo, Wheat Thins and Trident have shown us how live engagement can drive brand loyalty and business growth. But Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are opening up a whole new world: they enable us to amplify our brand messages by taking full advantage of social TV engagement," said Bonin Bough, vice president, global media and consumer engagement at Mondel?z International. "Knowing in advance what the effective Twitter TV engagement is around key events is game-changing and will enable us to connect even more efficiently with our consumers."

Along with Nielsen’s existing SocialGuide solutions for Twitter TV measurement, analytics and engagement, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings represent Nielsen’s latest innovation in enabling the media industry to harness the power of social media. “The Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are a powerful measurement with far reaching implications for the industry,” said Steve Hasker, president, global product leadership, Nielsen. “It’s exciting that investments are being made to build 360 degree engagement—and drive passion from viewers—around programming. This holistic measure of how Twitter activity influences TV engagement will bring clarity to the value of those efforts.”

Built on the SocialGuide platform, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are available for TV programming across over 215 English-language U.S. broadcast and cable networks. Nielsen is currently working with Twitter to accurately measure and report Spanish-language networks.  Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are a separate set of measures that complement traditional National TV Ratings.  They do not change the traditional National TV Ratings.

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings deliver overnight metrics into two platforms: SocialGuide Intelligence and Nielsen National TV View. In addition, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings Weekly Top Ten list will be available at, highlighting the highest-ranking episodes by Twitter TV audience on a weekly basis.

More information about Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings can be found at More details around the initial analysis of Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are available here.


  • tom

    Sounds pathetic.

  • Jeff (Canada)

    And the award for “Most Useless Ratings No One Needs To See” goes to…..

  • moshane58

    Need more Nielsen boxes in homes instead of this. Time to update Nielsen with the population…

  • PurpleDrazi

    People can tweet about a show all they want but if they aren’t tuning in live it still doesn’t count.

    Also, it doesn’t address the content of the tweets. What if 2,000 people are tweeting about how awful a show is.

  • The Old Woman

    CBS will come last in Neilson twitter ratings as hardly anyone tweets about any of the CBS shows. On the other hand CW, NBC and Fox with their younger, more social media friendly audience may do well.

  • TV Addict

    Did you guys post something like this last April fools day?

  • violet hour

    eh whatever , how about taking into account actual viewing habits of people before cancelling shows pfff

  • I LOVE TV!


    Still they’re watching that show…

  • starship

    It’d be funny to see the CW constantly in the lead in a ratings chart (among the broadcast networks that is).

  • Tom

    @ Starship

    Excellent observation. Nielsen’s Twitter ratings measure “viewer engagement” as opposed to viewer ratings. Before Twitter became the rage, the CW’s One Tree Hill was typically near the top of the engagement ratings and close to the bottom in viewer ratings. That’s because viewer engagement figures tend to skew to a younger demographic. The CW targets an audience of younger females so, as you point out, it makes sense that the CW would be leading or at least close to the top of the Twitter ratings charts.

  • AlanHalliwell

    Well IDK if it makes a difference but TVD,Supernatural and Glee will do well as they seem to be always trending on twitter

  • Toucan

    @I lOVE TV

    They might not be watching. Some people follow shows through social media and recaps without watching them. They also will snark on things they haven’t seen.

    I’ve got to wonder how much attention people are paying to ads if they are tweeting. I would think they would be using the break to tweet.

  • cc

    I’m assuming Nielson is talking about Live tweeting, while watching a tv show and getting instant feedback.

    As for no one tweets cbs shows, wrong. Many shows with their stars and writers have started tweeting while the show is on.

    Don’t knock the power of twitter till you’ve tried it.

  • Debra

    LOL, I can just see it now. Some fans are going to be screaming their head’s off over the fact that their favorite show is in danger of being canceled, yet is doing remarkable well on Twitter.

  • Steven

    They must be joking… The measurement system needs to be updates, but not like this.

  • Carmen

    I wonder how many tweets mention the commercials or the advertising sponsors of the shows they are tweeting about?

    Great for PR but of very questionable value to the sponsors of the shows.

  • Robin

    This is still useless unless they somehow incorporates it into the ratings system kinda like how billboard counts streaming as part of the hot 100 charts

  • Tom

    “It was trending on Twitter” is on this season’s Fan Excuse Bingo card for a reason – tweets don’t equate to ratings. Social media mavens connect with their favorite shows in a number of ways; tweets, blogs, TVBTN, etc. Nevertheless, 50 tweets or blog posts don’t equate to the same number of viewers. The biggest joke in social medial might be the Peoples’ Choice Awards where a few low rated CW programs typically win because voting is unlimited. The bottom line is that Twitter ratings might be useful as a means for advertisers to refine their product pitches to viewers of particular shows. However, this index is definitely not going to affect the networks’ reliance on viewer ratings.

  • Ryan

    I got the free report for last week:

    @The Old Woman CBS led all the networks

    @Tom CW premieres both hit top 16

    @Toucan Most people tweet during the action

  • PartylikeaPumpkin

    Scandal will probably top the ratings each week. They rule the Twitterverse!

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