Remember back in the old days (Ha, maybe about a decade) when you would have this device on the back of your TV that monitored everything you watched? Heck, I do – and we were paid every month to have consumer information giant Nielsen track what we were watching. In turn, that information went back to the company and was distributed to local TV networks in the form of ‘ratings’. That is what sales offices in those TV stations would show clients in an effort to convince them that their advertising spots were the most valuable.
Now, Twitter will entangle itself in those ratings. Enter Twitter TV Rating.
Nielsen is partnering with Twitter to create the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, “a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter,” to be made available at the beginning of this fall’s TV season.[pullquote align=”right”] “Twitter commands a huge amount of public discussion in terms of social TV and social activity around TV, so it makes very good sense to look at the activity there,” says Matt Anchin, senior vice president of global communications at Nielsen.[/pullquote]
In the days of DVR’s and streaming shows on their iPhones, laptops and tablets – it’s no surprise someone out there wants to track some analytics of how we consumer our entertainment.
This could be a big hit for little-watched shows as well. The new metric could give credit where it’s due. These days, a program like ‘Survivor’ or ‘CSI’ has such a huge following that they are generally awarded for it’s mass viewership. With the new tracking system, true fans voices (or tweets, rather) will be heard and that will level the playing field.
“Twitter commands a huge amount of public discussion in terms of social TV and social activity around TV, so it makes very good sense to look at the activity there,” says Matt Anchin, senior vice president of global communications at Nielsen.
Both advertisers and broadcasters want to get a handle on the impact of Twitter.
“Everyone wants to understand the full audience. … Today you can get volume: How many tweets there have been about a specific show, program, celebrity or brand. To see the fullness of that conversation, it’s, who read those tweets as well? That’s ultimately what this is about. You’ll get that full view of the total audience,” Anchin says.
Twitter has 200 million active users, meaning people who log in at least several times a month. (Users who read without tweeting can still be considered active.)
According to Rachael Horwitz, a Twitter representative, a big hunk of that 200 million just doesn’t want to watch TV without Twitter. “These folks are watching TV, the Olympics or the Oscars or ‘The Voice,’ and they want to have their Twitter app open or their laptop up to see what other fans and the stars of the shows are saying,” said Ms. Horwitz.
The new rating could eventually help viewers navigate the overwhelming sea of channels that seems to for some reason always be showing the same two episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” You could get a guide that tells you the dozen or so shows your friends are tweeting about at that exact moment, so you can go where the action is. Nielsen recently acquired Social Guide, which “provides a social activity-driven guide to what viewers are looking at and what are they talking about,” said Mr. Anchin.
So now your Tweets aren’t just delivering your profound thought of the day – it’s guiding people to watch better TV.