This is a coup for Twitter: The company is partnering with Nielsen to become the first arbiter of the most socially successful U.S. TV programs.
The companies have a new multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating,” a measurement that Nielsen says will serve as a complement to its existing TV ratings. While the latter measures “first screen” viewership (i.e., on the television), the new Twitter TV Rating will serve as an industry-standard metric for “second screen” activity — i.e., the reach of conversation on Twitter about TV programs.
I called it a “coup” for Twitter earlier because it’s formal recognition that Twitter beats Facebook, Google+ and all other social networks when it comes to second screen activity. In the release, Nielsen’s Steve Hasker calls Twitter ” the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data.”
More importantly, it’s a coup from a business and advertising perspective: Twitter becomes the default way that not only TV networks, but also their advertisers and Twitter’s advertisers, can formally measure their second screen success. Twitter’s Chloe Sladden says the company’s TV partners have been asking for a way to measure viewer engagement and the new metric can “help broadcasters and advertisers create truly social TV experiences.”
When that starts to happen, and there are metrics to measure it, dollars will follow.
The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating metric is expected to launch at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.
There’s more discussion on Techmeme.