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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : March 25, 2013

Correlation between Twitter and TV ratings discovered

New research from SocialGuide and Nielsen reveals a correlation between Tweets and TV ratings, and quantifies the strength of the relationship.

by Helen Leggatt

Social TV measurement, analytics and audience engagement solutions firm SocialGuide, along with research firm Nielsen, found that 32 million people in the U.S tweeted about TV last year.

The vast majority (80%) of mobile users in the U.S. check their device often during each month while watching TV programming.

The research found that, for premiere episodes, an 8.5% increase in Twitter volume is linked to a 1% increase in TV program ratings among 18-34 years old. Meanwhile, among older demographics 35-49 years old, a 14% increase in Twitter volume was linked with a 1% increase in ratings.

"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."

Twitter activity is also linked to ratings for mid-season episodes, when Tweets jump about 4% among 18-34 year olds TV ratings increase about 1%. Among 35-49 year olds an 8% increase in Tweets correlates with a 1% increase in TV ratings.

"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 relationship."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: multitasking, ratings, social media, television, Twitter

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