Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) has measured television audiences for years and years, a period which in some cases may go back two generations. Now that television ratings are going to be taken into the hyperactivity of social media. Nielsen and Twitter have entered into an exclusive pact for the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating system to allow networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to understand TV audience social activity.
This multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” is aimed solely at the US market to deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter. As far as when, this will launch at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.
Nielsen called Twitter “the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data” in the release, even calling it the world’s digital water cooler. The company said, “TV viewers discuss TV on Twitter, creating a new dynamic between audiences and programming. The service’s more than 140 million active users send one billion Tweets every two and a half days… making Twitter data a necessity in producing standardized metrics representing online and mobile conversations about television.”
SocialGuide was recently acquired by Nielsen and NM Incite, and it currently captures Twitter TV activity for all U.S. programming across 234 TV channels in English and Spanish over more than 36,000 programs.
This is one of those partnerships that actually makes sense. Twitter has the hyperactive huge user base but does not have the decades of consumer measurement history. If you consider what the implications are, commercials and schedules could be changed on the fly based upon what different experiences are saying on a real-time basis.
JON C. OGG