Twitter and Nielsen Plan Social Media Ratings System

Taking on the ideas that apps such as Zeebox have generated, popular social networking and micro-blogging website Twitter have revealed that they are combining with media measurement specialists Nielsen as a means of developing a new TV ratings system that is based around the ‘buzz’ generated in 140 characters or less.

nielsen_twitter_nielsmergeThe system, inventively called the ‘Nielse Twitter TV Rating’, is a system which will enable networks and marketers the opportunity to review which shows are showing the most ‘commercial value’ by calculating ‘number of people tweeting’ with the amount of viewers of such messages. This is claimed to be a potential way to discover what, in theory, is most valuable to advertisers, with comments and views said to represent heightened engagement with the show in question.

It is believed that social media can drastically change what is considered ‘popular’ on TV, with an example cited being the Fox musical drama Glee, which went from 74th in a regular TV show ratings ranking from Nielsen, to 2nd place in an ‘adjusted ranking’ that included Facebook and Twitter interest, produced by research group Optimedia.

While financial details of the new partnership have not been revealed, Nielsen’s ‘president of global media products & advertiser solutions’ Steve Hasker said of the deal’s benefits: “This is a big step forward to better understanding the volume and impact of commentary around TV programmes.”

Twitter’s vice-president of media Chloe Sladden said of their part in the deal “[We will be] collaborating with Twitter ecosystem partners on this metric to help broadcasters and advertisers create truly social TV experiences.”

Current ideas include allowing producers the chance to directly integrate tweets and trends into their show, and the chance for commercials to include ‘promoted tweets’ with one-off hashtags or trigger phrases. Another key area for the Nielse Twitter TV Rating system is said to be the implementation of ‘live event’ broadcasting alongside Twitter, as the genre is believed to be set for a boost in 2013.

The plans will work well with a recent poll in the UK region that found 30% to read Facebook or Twitter on a regular basis as a ‘second screen’, despite only ‘a tiny portion’ of audiences posting tweets of their own about the show in question, described by a Deloitte research head as being ‘backing vocals’. Will Nielsen’s faith in Twitter help the social networking site find an even louder voice?


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