Twitter TV Ratings coming to Australia

2014-03-24_1010Australia will soon have audited results from Nielsen telling us which television shows are getting the most chatter on Twitter.

Australia will become the third country in the world to have Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, measuring the total activity (Tweets, Unique Authors) and reach (Impressions, Unique Audience) of TV-related conversation on Twitter.

Slated for commercial availability in Australia in the second half of 2014, these will be measures separately to traditional television ratings, but may well complement and in some cases are likely to even contrast it.

Head of Nielsen’s Media Industry Group in Australia, Monique Perry said, “We are thrilled to make the announcement that Australia will be the third country globally for Nielsen to launch Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings. We have for some time been working with our clients in this market to understand their needs around TV-related social media engagement and activity – being able to deliver this world-leading solution is a great win for the Australia market.”

Steve Weaver, Research Director, Nine Network Australia said, “Having access to an accurate social media metric will empower networks, agencies, and advertisers to make data-driven decisions around content, programming and advertising, based on the true influence of the online conversation. We will no doubt see more products in this space, but Nielsen and Twitter are definitely ahead of the curve.”

“Social TV has transformed TV’s image from a lean back, relaxed media platform, to a real-time engagement environment,” Commented Chief Strategy Officer at MEC, James Hier. “What the industry has lacked is a recognised currency and tool to take advantage of this phenomenon at scale. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will act as a hotspot for audience energy, not just numbers, allowing marketers and agencies to approach how they evaluate and use programs in a more progressive way.”


  1. Twitter talks means nothing. Recently here in the UK The Brits was the most tweeted about TV event in history. Ratings the next day then showed it was also the lowest rated show in a decade or so.

    If TV wasn’t so obsessed with Twitter and Facebook perhaps they wouldn’t be losing their audiences to social media. Never made sense to me to encourage people to watch TV rather passively by also being online, and certainly makes no sense that broadcasters seemed to have sent their viewers away from their own website.

  2. Secret Squirrel

    @DK – I concur. I was using hyperbole to make a point. I think we can agree that the Twitterati as a sample of the population is massively skewed. Less than 20% of internet users (not whole population) are active on Twitter and a significant majority of those are under 30yo.

    Might as well report on the viewing preferences of marketing executives or crane operators as it will almost be as pointless.

  3. Seriously what is this going to prove? How many tweets each show gets? It will be interesting to see but to me its quite useless. What are we really going to do with this information? For me i only mainly tweet about reality tv yet i still watch drama and other shows but don’t tweet because i am more into a drama and don’t tend to talk about it until after the show has ended.

  4. Though Twitter is hard to count or quantify right now, it seems clear that it will be around for many years to come, maybe for decades. Television has embraced it, as is obvious by how they have integrated it into live shows, including live Tweeting from actors and creators during broadcast, displaying tweets live on News and Daytime shows, and hashtags becoming a part of their vernacular.

    It is popularly believed that the old Nielsen or OZTam rating box systems are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and don’t reflect true consumption, so anything that augments that data more accurately has to be a good thing. Though Twitter will never be a way to measure ratings directly, it does measure fan reaction and interaction, which will be just as key to shaping TV’s future as ratings are.

    Twitter may still be perceived as niche right now, but it won’t be forever. Better to jump on…

  5. once-upon-a-time

    @Charlie Miso

    Your comment re tweets 11, comments 8, just about sums up how many people have different interpretations of supplied data, eg. whilst you may have read those counts accurately at that particular time, but this proves there can be wide discrepancies, simply because tweets register virtually immediately, where David updates comments after moderating them, and depending on his commitments at varying times, there may have been a count of tweets 11, comments 16 possibly on minutes later.

    And to me, that by selective editing by astute and creative personnel, the old adage that if statisticians are given a desired outcome, they are almost always able to provide the statistics that validated that outcome.

    Also whilst tweets may measure instant trends etc, but then require follow up tweets to confirm their staying with or exiting a programme eg. mid-way, or how many times…

  6. once-upon-a-time

    My concerns are, who is going endorse the validity of these ratings by those who distribute them and particularly by those who will benefit the most?

    How many times have well respected agencies been suspected of seemingly selling their souls to the highest bidder whilst I’m loathe to identify any particular agency, and will only cite in general for example only, as with the ‘Tick of Approval ‘ systems, along with some other validating NGO’s.

    How long will it be before trending bars constantly appear across our screens, possibly even colour coded by gender and demo’s etc, where us oldies could be allocated grey with pink or blue stripes, sadly this has the potential of growing faster and bigger than reality shows, and how many apps will be created to make logging in and effortlessly instant, and heavens help us if someone links them to the oso accurate Networks EPG’s.

  7. Arguing whether or not these stats will truly reflect someone actually watching the program they are tweeting about…really?

    Most replies seem to be from non tweeters, me, I am an avid tweeting while I watch person. The likely hood i’d tweet about say, The Block while watching MKR…I’d have no freaking clue what was going on making my tweets redundant and me seem idiotic.
    And I’m surprised that with Zeebox and TVTag (formerly get glue) aps out, plus with programs like Q&A, MKR and The Block airing live tweets, we haven’t jumped on board with obtaining some sort of social media stats.

  8. Imagine if Twitter existed when Midday With Ray Martin was on and this Twitter ratings system was in place. 65+ age demo drowning the Twitterverse with “Geoff can tickle my ivories any day! #BeardedDreamboat” just to get the ratings point.

  9. How ironic that this page has more (at time of writing) tweets, 11, than comments, 8.

    All this despite the Luddite bleating in the comments.

  10. Sounds good. As long as we know what the official hashtags are, something I’ve found can be difficult to track down and confirm sometimes.

    I appreciate when the hashtags are kept onscreen throughout the duration of an episode, even if it is more screen clutter.

  11. Secret Squirrel

    David, pls assure us that you won’t be posting a measurement of the squeals of teenage girls as a regular feature on your august site.

    • Twitter isn’t just teenage girls. In my view Twitter includes a hefty whack of educated and affluent types (refer Q&A, Auspol etc). Facebook is a lot more mainstream as the great unwashed.

  12. Advertisers are what matter. And they won’t give a damn about twitter figures, they only care about eyeballs.

    One day someone might find a use for twitter other than spreading misinformation, but don’t hold your breath.

  13. I am surprised that networks will embrace a ratings tool that only a section of the viewing audience use. I already feel like a minority viewer and with twitter ratings I will no longer exist.

  14. a high level of twitter chat is nothing to brag about. if a show is trending well its usually because a lot of people feel the need to tell the world about how bad a tv show is. some of the biggest tv related twitter events were the Young Talent Time premiere and Live from Planet Earth.

  15. Fascinating. David do you know if this data will be released to public? I suspect it will be very different to the current ratings. While Oztam is pretty good there are deficiencies. Mainly that Oztam can only ever sample people who are prepared to have another box in their living room they have to interact with. I’m assuming the system is smart enough to pick up tweets to stars, non official accounts or even tweets that don’t use official hashtags. This will be really interesting! Often low ratings shows trend on twitter so we know people are watching them.

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