A new Nielsen study shows there is a two-way causal influence between broadcast TV tune-in for a program and the Twitter conversation around that program. The study used time-series analysis to determine if Twitter activity drives increased tune-in rates for broadcast TV and if broadcast TV tune-in leads to increased Twitter activity. The study analyzed tweets for 221 broadcast primetime program episodes using Nielsen’s SocialGuide and found that live TV ratings had a meaningful impact in related tweets among 48% of the episodes sampled.
The study also looked at the impact of tweets on TV ratings by program genre, and found that the influence can differ by genre. Tweets had 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 show that increases in TV ratings during an episode cause more people to tweet more often (Nielsen