NEWS18 December 2012

Twitter plans new social TV ratings system with Nielsen

North America Technology

US — Nielsen has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with Twitter to create a Nielsen Twitter TV Rating for the US market. The system aims to deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of TV conversations on Twitter.

Twitter and Nielsen are aiming to have the system ready for commercial use in time for the fall 2013 TV season. The hope is to make Twitter data “a necessity in producing standardised metrics representing online and mobile conversations about television”, according to the partners.

Steve Hasker, president of global media products and advertiser solutions at Nielsen, said: “The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating is a significant step forward for the industry, particularly as programmers develop increasingly captivating live TV and new second-screen experiences, and advertisers create integrated ad campaigns that combine paid and earned media.”

Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s vice president of media, added: “This effort reflects Nielsen’s foresight into the evolving nature of the TV viewing experience, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Twitter ecosystem partners on this metric to help broadcasters and advertisers create truly social TV experiences.”

The proposed system has already been welcomed by US broadcast networks CBS and Fox, who are helping the companies beta test the ratings system prior to its commercial release.

David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corporation, said: “The proliferation of smartphones and tablets will continue to create the opportunity for content providers like CBS to offer engaging interactive features for our viewers. As this form of viewer engagement evolves into a mainstream activity, it presents ways for CBS to enhance the viewing experience for our viewers and our advertisers.”

Peter Rice, chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, added: “Twitter is a powerful messenger and a lot of fun for fans of our shows, providing them with the opportunity to engage, connect and voice their opinions directly to each other and us. Combining the instant feedback of Twitter with Nielsen ratings will benefit us, programme producers, and our advertising partners.”

The move comes two months after Twitter and Nielsen partnered to run Twitter Surveys – brand research questions in the form of Promoted Tweets.