Twitter’s social media volume does have a “significant” effect on live TV show ratings -- about a third of the time.
A new study from Nielsen looked at 221 broadcast
prime-time episodes that analyzed minute-by-minute trends. Using Nielsen’s SocialGuide social media unit, the findings reveal that the volume of tweets caused “statistically
significant” changes in live TV ratings among 29% of the episodes.
Conversely, the study also showed live TV ratings had a statistically significant impact on “related
tweets” among 48% of the episodes sampled.
Paul Donato, chief research officer of Nielsen, stated: “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.”
The highest levels of where tweets moved
the ratings needle was with competitive reality shows, which happened in 48% of episodes; comedy was at 37%; sports, 28%; and drama 18%.
Also in a release, Ali Rowghani, chief operating
officer of Twitter, said: "These results substantiate what many of our TV partners have been telling us anecdotally for years: namely, that Twitter drives tune-in, especially for live, linear