Twitter a driver for television ratings, study finds

That's the word from Nielsen, which found that the more Twitter activity there is surrounding a show, the higher its ratings. At the same time, the Nielsen study showed that popular shows spawn tweets.

Nielsen

There's a direct causation between Twitter usage and TV show ratings, a study from Nielsen has found.

The company revealed in findings released Tuesday that 29 percent of the 221 shows it analyzed showed "statistically significant changes" in live ratings because of a heavier volume of tweets. Conversely, 48 percent of the episodes it evaluated showed a similar "significant" impact on tweets when a show was particularly popular.

"Using time series analysis, we saw a statistically significant causal influence indicating that a spike in TV ratings can increase the volume of Tweets, and, conversely, a spike in Tweets can increase tune-in," Paul Donato, chief research officer at Nielsen, said in a statement.

Nielsen's findings corroborate what many people have postulated for quite some time: Twitter is playing an important role in the overall popularity of television shows. However, the company's research has now quantified how more tweets can lead to higher TV ratings.

Not surprisingly, Twitter was quick to celebrate the findings. Company COO Ali Rowghani said today in a statement that his company's platform has become a "complementary tool for broadcasters...[to] increase tune-in."

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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