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Study Shows Link Between Twitter Volume and TV Ratings

A line is drawn between Twitter buzz and those old-fashioned things we call ratings.

A new study conducted by Nielsen and social TV platform SocialGuide finds a correlation between Twitter traffic during live TV and a lift in television ratings.

According to the study, 80% of Americans who own a smartphone or tablet frequently use their devices while watching TV, and 40% of these people visit a social network while glued to the tube. Twitter says that two-thirds of its mobile users are active on the site while watching television.

Not surprisingly, the correlation between Twitter usage and ratings is higher among younger audiences, specifically 18- to 34-year-olds. Among this age group, an 8.5% increase in Twitter volume corresponds to a 1% increase in ratings for season premieres and a 4.2% increase in Twitter volume is linked to a 1% ratings boost for mid-season episodes.

Maybe next, Nielsen can explore whether putting viewer tweets on the screen during reality shows actually boosts ratings. Hopefully, the answer will be no. Do we really care that @Bachelor4EVRRR "totally loves" Sean? #AbsolutelyNot

[Image: Flickr user Hersson Piratoba]

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2 Comments

  • MrRocking

    Study should also note that actively engaged and paying attention are two separate forms of participation allowing us to ignore viewer whining about plot points missed whilst tweeting.

  • Eric Day

    isn't this just saying that popular TV shows generate a higher volume of tweets?