Social Media Buzz Ups Trad TV Ratings

by , Mar 14, 2012, 5:18 PM
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Nielsen says a recent study adds to the growing evidence showing there is now a direct connection between social media buzz and traditional TV ratings.

In looking at a two-week period prior to a particular TV show finale, Nielsen says a 14% increase in social media buzz translated into a 1% rise in traditional TV ratings among young viewers 18-34.

In speaking at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, Tx. (SXSW), Jonathan Carson, chief executive officer of digital for The Nielsen Company, says this will continue to grow, due to increased smartphone and tablet usage and more real-time social conversations.

Carson said: “TV is still the first screen, by far,” with TV consumption continuing to grow every quarter. “The social component just magnifies the engagement opportunity for advertisers that television has always offered.”

Other TV executives on a panel discussion were also optimistic.

MTV’s Kristin Frank recommended more incentives for fans to actively express their interest via social media. ESPN’s Michael Cupo said the real-time advantage of social media works well with sports programs that still attract viewers in real-time -- rather than on a time-shifted basis.

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