NEWS21 March 2013

Twitter chatter influences TV ratings – report

Data analytics North America

US — American TV viewers’ tweets are having a small impact on ratings according to research.

Research from SocialGuide and Nielsen found that 31m people in the US tweeted about TV in 2012 and the research identified the messaging platform as one of three statistically significant variables (in addition to prior-year ratings and advertising spend) to align with TV ratings.

“While prior-year ratings 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 may affect programme engagement,” said SocialGuide CEO Andrew Somosi.

The survey found that for 8-34 year-olds, an 8.5% increase in Twitter volume corresponded to a 1% increase in TV ratings for premiere episodes while a 4.2% increase in Twitter volume mid-season corresponds with a 1% increase in TV ratings.

Nielsen executive vice president of media analytics Mike Hess said: “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 relationship.”