You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter TV Data Can Help More Accurately Forecast Ratings: Nielsen

How much social-media activity actually causes a lift in TV ratings is still debatable.

Now, Nielsen is promoting a new use for TV-related Twitter data: The researcher says correlating tweet activity with on-air promotions can let networks and advertisers better estimate a show’s eventual ratings.

In a study published Monday, Nielsen analyzed 42 broadcast and cable series premieres from late August through early November 2014. For viewers 18-34, programs that were more heavily promoted achieved higher TV audiences when they premiered — no surprise there. (Nielsen didn’t ID the shows in the study.)

However, Nielsen created a model that it said is more accurate in predicting ratings. That combined promo data with Twitter TV activity over a four-week period ending two weeks prior to a show’s premiere (and adjusting for whether the show was on a broadcast or cable net).

Of course, nothing can really predict the future will 100% certitude. Nielsen’s Twitter-TV-plus-promos data set explained 65% of the variance in the premiere audience sizes, compared with 48% using promotions data alone. According to the research firm, the Twitter-enhanced model would help ad agencies and TV networks make better choices about where to place their bets for upcoming shows.

Nielsen noted that the study doesn’t prove TV-related chatter on Twitter necessarily leads to bigger ratings. The firm conducted a study in 2013 that analyzed live TV ratings and tweets for 221 broadcast primetime show episodes; that showed the volume of tweets caused statistically significant increases in live ratings among 29% of the eps, although Nielsen said how the dynamic worked wasn’t clear.

The latest study used Nielsen’s 24/7 Twitter TV Tracking data set. That’s currently available to clients for more than 650 English- and Spanish-language shows, according to Nielsen.

More TV

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • Naomi Watts

    Naomi Watts to Star in Jason Blum-Produced Quibi Series 'Wolves and Villagers' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Naomi Watts has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Quibi series “Wolves and Villagers,” Variety has learned exclusively. The exact plot of the short-form series is being kept under wraps, but Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has previously described the show as “Fatal Attraction 2.0.” Jason Blum is executive producing the series, with [...]

  • HBO's 'Breslin And Hamill' Documentary Drops

    HBO's 'Breslin And Hamill' Documentary Drops Trailer

    “Revolutionary,” “superstars,” “the voice of true New Yorkers” — that’s how Spike Lee and other influential figures describe journalists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill in the trailer released for HBO’s “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists” documentary. The film, which premieres Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, follows the two newspaper columnists whose dedication and wit [...]

  • Riverdale Chapter Twenty-Six

    TV News Roundup: 'Riverdale' Sets 'Heathers' Musical Episode

    In Thursday’s roundup, “Riverdale” is set to tackle “Heathers: The Musical,” and Freeform has announced its second annual summit. DATES  The musical episode of the CW’s “Riverdale,” featuring nine songs, will air Wednesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. On the show, Riverdale High School takes on “Heathers: The Musical,” with queen bees Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), [...]

  • The Bone Collector

    NBC Orders 'Bone Collector' Drama Pilot 'Lincoln'

    NBC has ordered the drama pilot “Lincoln,” formerly known as “The Bone Collector.” Based on the internationally bestselling book series, “Lincoln” follows legendary forensic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme, who was seriously injured during his hunt for the diabolic serial killer known as the Bone Collector. Called back into action when the killer re-emerges, Lincoln forms a [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gain, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content