Nielsen To Start Measuring Twitter Talk About TV Shows

October 8, 2013 by IZE Creative

These are times when people are more interested on tweeting about a TV Show than actually watching it on TV. Somewhere, somehow there is this false illusion that being the first to tweet about a certain topic and/or tweeting about something simultaneously to its happening establishes one as an influencer in the online world. True or false, we may not know the answer yet. But this shows how much real-time data is made available via Twitter.

And no one’s the smarter for it. Until the Global Information and Measurement company Nielsen decides its high time to start living in the present.


In a recent news release by the NY Times, the Billion Dollar company has said that it will now be looking into Twitter conversations about TV Shows to also include the data into its measurement arsenal. This step forward, would help determine a complete view on the concept of Social TV. Also, with Multi-screen marketing growing and expanding day by day, its better late than never to start measuring this “big data”. The data measurement would include main factors as-

Its not just about how many people see the TV Show and Tweet about it. There’s a good number of audience who see the tweets first and enthralled by the sheer number of 140-character-publicity, go online and watch the shows later or its repeat telecast. Maybe Twitter knows the importance of the data it has in understanding the behavior of TV Audience; maybe that’s exactly why its prospectus on its IPO mentioned television 42 times!

Twitter Data representation

An excerpt from an article in “The Globe and Mail” explains well how Twitter has already been using the power of its real-time data to woo marketers and plans not to restrict its revenue stream to just digital advertising campaigns -

In recent months, the social networking company has forged partnerships with television content owners such as CBS, MTV and the NFL through a program it calls Amplify. The platform lets content owners beam real-time video clips to Twitter users who may have seen – or could be interested in – their TV programming. It also allows marketers to communicate with viewers who saw their TV ads, extending commercial pitches to consumers’ smartphones and tablets.

Sure enough, this step by Nielsen would presently be taken in the US only. But would it be effective in India?

Answer – Yes. Seeing the presence of Indian TV Channels on Social Media and certain TV Shows going full scale on Social Media Campaigns, this step for Indian TV also looks promising. As can be seen by the campaigns by Star Plus and Fox Traveller in India, when TV Channels and TV Shows start taking Social Media seriously, it definitely means they see some value for the audience, and hence for them, in it. And value in social media is best represented by data. Which Twitter has in plenty. Result – One plus one makes two for sure.

But going on a deeper note, if Nielsen does plan to extend this to India, first it would have to be seen what percentage of Indian Audience actually tweets about TV Shows. Cricket, Politics and Bollywood would definitely have no scarcity, but for TV Shows its not just about sheer number. Its more about useful and meaningful data. That, we’ll have to wait and see.

All said, one things for sure. If and when Nielsen does decide to go forward with measuring the same data in India, they definitely wouldn’t be disappointed. As for the marketers of TV Shows, they’ll have a more trustworthy source of data; and for Twitter, its just one word – profit.