Twitter and Nielsen to partner on Twitter TV ratings

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Twitter and ratings company Nielsen are partnering in time for next fall’s lineup of television shows.

The two companies announced the new arrangement in a joint statement Monday, stating that the metric would solely be measured using Twitter data.

The system, called the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, will “serve to complement Nielsen’s existing TV ratings, giving TV networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to understand TV audience social activity,” said the companies.

“As a media measurement leader we recognize that Twitter is the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data,” said Steve Hasker, the president of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen, stating that the partnership was a “significant step for the industry.”

Twitter boasts 140 million active users, who send more than one billion tweets every two and a half days.

“This effort reflects Nielsen’s foresight into the evolving nature of the TV viewing experience, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Twitter ecosystem partners on this metric to help broadcasters and advertisers create truly social TV experiences,” said Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s Vice President of Media.

While Twitter users often engage with entertainment programming, the recent election cycle also added new depths to the level of engagement between users and political programming.

In a company blog post, Sladden said that TV networks “have consistently asked for one common benchmark from which to measure the engagement of their programming.”

“This new metric is intended to answer that request, and to act as a complement and companion to the Nielsen TV rating,” she said.

CBS and Fox networks also expressed their enthusiasm about the new arrangement between Twitter and Nielsen.

David F. Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corporation, said that CBS was already collaborating with the two companies “in a program of research and experimentation” using Twitter’s technology, and that the partnership will allow networks to employee social networking technology “to their full advantage.”

Peter Rice, chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, said that the combination of “the instant feedback of Twitter with Nielsen ratings will benefit us, program producers, and our advertising partners.”

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