Sounds like the guys and gals upstairs have finally caught on and realized how much we like to talk, or more specifically tweet, about our favourite shows online. Global media measurement company Nielson Holdings, better known at the company who creates the Nielsen TV ratings, announced yesterday they will now be tracking twitter trends linked to television programs. Called 'Twitter TV Ratings,' the tracking and analysis aims to better understand the relationship between social media and broadcast television.
Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will measure both active tweeters and readers as well. Twitter 'audience members,' those who read tweets rather than write them, is a group 50x as large as tweet authors (19 million vs. 263 million in 2013 alone), and therefore of large importance to the breakdown of the twitter-TV relationship. By tracking the engagement between twitter and television, Nielsen aims to more effectivley track the popularity of television series unseen in broadcast ratings, and its about time.
How many among us actually watch TV shows on cable, or when it actually airs on television? Yeah, not that many. We're a generation who stream online or torrent the show afterwards, which obviously doesn't get included in traditional television ratings. Watching it online, we're then much more likely to share our opinions via social media, specifically twitter, because we also have that inherent vanity prompting us to think everyone wants to hear about what we have to say about the finale of Breaking Bad. We don't watch it on TV, we watch it online and talk about it online.
Shows like Community have been nearly cancelled from this viewing phenomenon. A large portion of the audience, people like us, don't watch it on TV and therefore the show got poor ratings. But the online community still talked about Community, and continue to do so. Nielsen tracking twitter ratings will hopefully end this issue. By tracking broadcast and twitter ratings, a better picture of just how popular a show is, online and offline, and better determine how many people are watching. Television just got a whole new branch of viewers, and some of your favourite shows may be saved because of it.
Check out Nielsen's infographic below for a visual breakdown, and their official press release here.