Tweet While You Watch TV? Twitter TV Ratings are Coming.


So I was trolling through my regular blog sites (list to the left) when I stopped at TV Tonight who had a post about Nielsen bringing Twitter Television Ratings to Australia.

“How interesting?”  I thought.  I’m an avid tweet-while-I-watch kind of guy and can usually get a feel of how a show currently on air is sitting with other tweeters by what’s being filtered through my feed, so I’m surprised no one had really jumped on this idea before though what could a network possibly do with this information and how can they benefit from it – i’m still unsure.

So back to TV Tonight’s post and the responses offered up.

Twitter is used mainly by teenage girls” says one.  “I think we’ve already established that Twitter traffic is no indicator of eyeballs on television screens.” says another while another response stated “a high level of twitter chat is nothing to brag about. if a show is trending well its usually because a lot of people feel the need to tell the world about how bad a TV show is. some of the biggest tv related twitter events were the Young Talent Time premiere and Live from Planet Earth.”

Thankfully not all of the replies were so misguided and uninformed.

Australia will be the third country globally to take up the twitter Nielsen ratings (American and Italy the first two) which will enable the TV industry–including TV networks, agencies, and advertisers–to measure, understand and act on TV-related conversation on Twitter.

Slated for commercial availability in Australia in the second half of 2014, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will measure the total activity (Tweets, Unique Authors) and reach (Impressions, Unique Audience) of TV-related conversation on Twitter.

When it comes to second screens, Twitter is one of the most used social media tools and when used correctly, can help boost a show’s social media presence.  From live tweets being aired on news programs and reality shows the The Block and My Kitchen Rules to stars live tweeting with their followers while a show is currently airing..In America, drama Pretty Little Liars – which airs on ABC Family (a side channel to ABC) and draws in about 4.5 – 5 million viewers weekly dominates social media, especially with season finale’s, which usually breaks it’s own record for tweets per airing (the season four finale hit 1,973,418 Tweets)

Social media presence, while may not directly translate to viewers, offers what most companies and networks seem to crave – free advertising.  Just take a look at those stats for Pretty Little Liars…we’re talking just under 2 million tweets all using certain hash-tags like #PLLChat, #AliTellsAll (in relation to the episode) and #PrettyLittleLiars all within the space on one hour.

Nine Network research director Steve Weaver said an “accurate social media metric will empower networks, agencies, and advertisers to make data-driven decisions around content, programming and advertising, based on the true influence of the online conversation. We will no doubt see more products in this space, but Nielsen and Twitter are definitely ahead of the curve.”

We reportedly have four million registered twitter users here in Australia equaling to around one fifth of our population, though it’s not known just how many of those are active users.