Services & Software

Nielsen to roll out Twitter ratings for TV shows on Monday

The goal of the "Nielsen Twitter TV Ranking" will be to measure the unique audience tweeting about individual programs.

James Martin/CNET

Television networks have been tapping Twitter hashtags for a couple of years to drum up more buzz for their programs. But shows with the greatest Twitter activity do not always correlate to programs with the highest ratings, according new Nielsen data, cited by the the Wall Street Journal.

That is one of the takeaways from data that Nielsen will begin publishing Monday, ranking shows with the greatest traction on the microblogging social network. The goal of the "Nielsen Twitter TV Ranking," which the companies announced last December, will be to measure the unique audience viewing tweets about individual programs.

While the data shows that the social network's younger user base has very different tastes than the overall TV-viewing audience, marketers see opportunity in knowing which shows have traction with Twitter users. The thinking is that more Twitter engagement will translate into greater attention for the program's advertisements.

Tapping entertainment avenues could generate big ad revenue for Twitter, which last week filed for a $1 billion initial public offering. In addition to its music platform, the company has been ramping up content partnerships with TV networks.

Last month, Twitter signed a deal with CBS (the parent company of CNET) that will enable the TV network to embed video clips from a wide variety of its shows in its tweets. The partnership is part of Twitter's Amplify program, which presents the social network's users with video clips provided by its TV partners, accompanied by short advertisements. The Amplify partners, in turn, target their videos at their users with promoted tweets.