60-Second Tech

Nielsen and Twitter Team to Track TV

Twitter and ratings agency Nielsen have come up a way to quantify social media buzz for TV programs. Larry Greenemeier reports

Your favorite TV shows may soon need a strong social-media presence if they’re going to stick around for a while. Networks and advertisers are hip to social media’s power to publicize a show, as well as TV’s influence over the social media conversation. They’ve even found ways to quantify this relationship.

Twitter and Nielsen, the company that tracks TV viewership, are creating a Nielsen Twitter TV Rating for each U.S. program starting with the fall 2013 season. This rating will track the total number of couch potatoes watching TV and tweeting about it, as well as anyone who happens to see those tweets.

Madison Avenue will learn who’s watching and the extent of their influence online.

Twitter says its more than 140 million active users send one billion tweets every two-and-a-half days. The portion that is about TV viewing habits should yield unprecedented demographic data about both viewers and Twitter users.

One anticipated result: shows about hipsters that get high Nielsen Twitter TV ratings will feature even more ads for skinny jeans and coffee.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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