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.


  • ReallyTired

    And how will Twitter know what #sixseasonsandamovie mean?

  • mango

    If they only measure US tweets and retweets, how do they know where the tweeter is located. Do they use ISP #s or just go by whatever location the tweet account claims it’s in?

  • mango

    If only US-based tweets and retweets are counted, how will they know where the the accounts are located. Are they just using ISP #s or something more sophisticated?

  • Bella Bellini

    People are watching the shows live when they trend on Twitter. They aren’t watching something they downloaded off a torrent site. Or streaming on an illegal site.

    Just look at the top 10 trends in the United States (not tailored trends) the next time Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural etc are on. The shows trend during the east coast and west coast broadcasts.

    For example, #PoorStefan trended last Thursday during the TVD broadcast. All those people were obviously watching live.

    You might want more Nielsen boxes out there to improve the accuracy of the Nielsen rating system. But this is still a valid measure of people watching shows live on TV.

  • capslocke

    1 word: Sharknado

  • starship

    @Bella Bellini

    While this is all true and the Nielsen boxes are a complete joke, it is the only ratings system the advertisers look at. Thus, accurate or not, it is what determines the fate of shows in 90% of the cases. It’d be next to impossible to determine the real age of all those Twitter users in order for the data to be meaningful to advertisers.

  • Bella Bellini

    @starship Teens are definitely driving trending topics for CW shows, ABC Family, and a bunch of other shows I don’t watch but see pop up every week.

    Blatantly obvious product placement is probably targeted at this younger demographic. Lots of close ups while the characters are texting on cell phones that aren’t iPhones, everyone snapping on their Surface keyboard.

    I think it’s too soon to say Twitter ratings mean nothing. Advertisers will test whether these new rankings & methods translate into increased income. They won’t share that information with the public. But it’ll be interesting to see if shows with high twitter ratings are renewed despite low traditional ratings.

  • Kelly

    @Bella Bellini

    You’re absolutely wrong about people not illegally watching live shows on websites as they air. People set up livestreams for shows as they air for pretty much every show with a major internet fanbase. Earlier this year my friends and I threw a Superbowl party and when we realized we wanted to watch the Puppy Bowl and realized none of us got Animal Planet, we just hooked up a laptop to the TV with an HDMI cord and looked around until we found a livestream of it on the internet. I’ve also watched Doctor Who when it aired in England even though I live in Florida; lots of people use the livestreams on the internet to watch shows when they air live when they don’t even own a TV. These people still have to watch ads, of course, unless the livestreamer mutes them or has a way to fast forward through them, so maybe it still counts in Nielsen’s eyes when they tweet, but these tens of thousands of viewers who are tweeting during the shows certainly aren’t the traditional sitting in front of a television because they’re buying cable service viewers.

  • Ryan

    (damnit forgot the now link rul)

    @PartylikeaPumpkin – You called it. Here’s last week’s top 10:

    1 ABC Scandal 10/03/13
    2 MTV Miley: The Movement 10/02/13
    3 NBC Saturday Night Live 10/05/13
    4 NBC The Voice 10/01/13
    5 NBC The Voice 9/30/13
    6 CW The Vampire Diaries 10/03/13
    7 FOX Glee 10/03/13
    8 ABC Dancing with the Stars 9/30/13
    9 FOX The X Factor 10/02/13
    10 FOX The X Factor 10/03/13

  • Hardline_Pro

    Wasn’t this an April Fools joke on this site last year? Now it is for real? o_o

  • PurpleDrazi

    Anyone who thinks this is about TV ratings can forget it. This is all about making Twitter money. Just read an article about this on another site. I can’t link it here but I’ll give you the highlights:

    “As Twitter prepares for its initial public offering, the San Francisco-based company is also working hard to insert itself into the TV advertising economy. In recent months, the social networking company has forged partnerships with television content owners such as CBS, MTV and the NFL through a program it calls Amplify. The platform lets content owners beam real-time video clips to Twitter users who may have seen –or could be interested in — their TV programming. It also allows marketers to communicate with viewers who saw their TV ads, extending commercial pitches to consumers’ smartphones and tablets.”

  • Jon

    How is this really an indicator of how many people are actually watching the show live?

  • Jon

    @bella….streaming and downloading Tv is much more widely done than you think. Especially amongst the younger demo

  • Tre

    he did post something like this for april fools lol hhahaha. i thought i was the only one that remembered. but nowits true nd i love it

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