With Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, Everybody Wins – Except Twitter Users

Dec 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Citizen Media

twitterNielsen and Twitter today announced a deal to create a Nielsen Twitter TV Rating system for the US market.

Under the agreement, Nielsen and Twitter are creating a ‘standard metric’ to measure ‘the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter.’

On the surface, everybody wins:

  • Nielsen gets to control a new Rating standard;
  • Television gets a standard yardstick for social media engagement, making it easier to focus their social media investment;
  • Ad dudes’ get a lot of new work; and
  • Twitter gets increased focus & investment from broadcast media.

The losers in the deal, though, appear to be Twitter users.

The deal effectively gives broadcast media a huge incentive to promote and manipulate discussions on Twitter, and that’s exactly what they plan to do:

“The proliferation of smartphones and tablets….create(s) the opportunity for content providers like CBS to offer engaging interactive features for our viewers,” said David F. Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation. “We are already engaged with Nielsen and Twitter in a program of research and experimentation in this exciting new area.”

Here’s what Fox has to say about the deal:

“Combining the instant feedback of Twitter with Nielsen ratings will benefit us, program producers, and our advertising partners,” said Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO, Fox Networks Group.

Note that nowhere does he suggest that the new system will benefit either TV viewers or Twitter users.

The new system is slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.

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