Nielsen released a new study that is the first to actually quantify the extent to which higher levels of tweeting may cause additional viewers to tune in to programming. In addition, the study broke down the causality by program genre.
As shown below, tweetshad the greatest impact on programs in the competitive reality genre, influencing ratings changes in nearly half (44%) of episodes. Episodes in the comedy (37%) and sports (28%) genres also saw significant increased tune-in from tweets, while programs in the drama genre were less affected (18%) by tweets during episodes.
The results also demonstrate what many industry observers thought to be true—that increases in TV ratings during an episode cause more people to tweet more often. This may be because there are more people available to tweet about a show, or because more compelling content drives people to tweet more often.
So what do the findings mean for the broadcast TV industry, and what’s next for Nielsen?
“Media companies and advertisers have already made investments in social media outreach as a means of engaging more directly with consumers, and we believe there are worthwhile opportunities for Nielsen to conduct additional research that can help quantify the relationship between television and social media activity,” said Donato.