New Study Confirms Correlation Between Twitter and TV Ratings

Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:30am EDT

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Findings Indicate that Correlation Strengthens Over the Course of a Show's
NEW YORK,  March 20, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by Nielsen and
SocialGuide confirms the relationship between Twitter and TV ratings. In
addition to analyzing Tweets about live TV, the study compared the impact of
Twitter against a number of key variables in order to gauge the strength of the
relationship of Twitter with ratings.  In evaluating the Fall 2012 premiere and
midseason program ratings of over 140 broadcast and cable programs, Twitter
proved to be one of three variables - - including prior year rating and
advertising spend - - to positively impact TV ratings in a statistically
significant way.    

"We expected to see a correlation between Twitter and TV ratings, but this study
quantifies the strength of that relationship," said  Andrew Somosi, CEO of
SocialGuide. "We see three key factors. While prior year rating accounts for the
lion's share of the variability in TV ratings, Twitter's presence as a top three
influencer tells us that Tweeting about live TV is likely a significant
indicator of program engagement."   

According to the study, for premiere episodes, an 8.5% increase in Twitter
volume is associated with a 1% increase in TV program ratings for 18-34 year
olds. Additionally, a 14.0% increase in Twitter volume is associated with a 1%
increase in TV program ratings for 35-49 year olds, reflecting a stronger
relationship between Twitter and TV for younger audiences.  

Further, the study found that Twitter's correlation to TV ratings strengthens
for midseason episodes for both age groups. An increase in Twitter volume of
4.2% and 8.4% is associated with a 1% increase in ratings for 18-34 year olds
and 35-49 year olds, respectively. Moreover, by midseason Twitter was
responsible for more of the variance in ratings for 18-34 year olds than
advertising spend.   

A 2012 internal Nielsen study on the 2011 TV season suggested that the alignment
of Twitter with TV ratings grew throughout the season, culminating in the
strongest relationship during the show's finale. Additional research from
Nielsen and SocialGuide will be conducted at the end of the 2012-2013 TV season
to compare this study's findings on premiere and midseason episodes to finale
episodes of the same programs.  

"The TV industry is dynamic and it was important for us to analyze multiple
variables to truly understand Twitter's impact on TV ratings," said  Mike Hess,
Executive Vice President of Media Analytics for Nielsen.  "While our study
doesn't prove causality, the correlation we uncovered is significant and we will
continue our research to deepen the industry's understanding of this

This research follows Nielsen's recent announcement to create the "Nielsen
Twitter TV Rating" for the U.S. market. The Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are the
first-ever syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on
Twitter.  The ratings are slated for commercial availability at the start of the
Fall 2013 TV season.  

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement
company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information,
television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement,
trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100
countries, with headquarters in  New York, USA  and Diemen,  the Netherlands.
For more information, visit  

SocialGuide is the leading provider of Social TV measurement, analytics and
audience engagement solutions. SocialGuide identifies, captures and analyzes
conversation on Twitter in real time for every program aired across 235 of the
most popular U.S. television channels, including Spanish language channels.
SocialGuide uses this data to power SocialGuide Intelligence, the core analytics
and engagement product, a suite of API solutions that provide intelligence and
curated content to power the next generation of social applications for MSOs,
connected TVs and second screen developers, and the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.
SocialGuide, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of NM Incite, LLC, a joint
venture between Nielsen and McKinsey.  


Leslie Cafferty   

Flavie Lemarchand-Wood   


SOURCE  SocialGuide

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