Nielsen to Launch “Social Content Ratings” with Measurement Across Twitter and Facebook

Nielsen today announced that it is expanding Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings to include Facebook conversation for the first time. With measurement of program-related conversation across these two social networking services at launch, and plans to integrate Instagram at a later date, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will become Nielsen’s “Social Content Ratings.”

Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings will be the first solution to measure aggregate-level program-related conversation on Facebook and Twitter, including posts shared with friends and family, with followers, and publicly. The expanded ratings are slated for commercial availability in the first half of 2016 and will be made available in all markets where Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are currently available (Australia, Italy, Mexico and U.S.).

“The development of Social Content Ratings reflects Nielsen’s commitment to continually adapt our services to meet the needs of the industry and is part of Nielsen’s ongoing effort to evolve our measurement to reflect the total audience across screens and platforms,” said Sean Casey, President, Nielsen Social. “Nielsen Social measurement is evolving to provide a comprehensive, standardized picture of how consumers are responding to program content through social media, wherever and whenever.”

Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings will deliver standardized third-party measurement of program-related conversation for each social networking service tracked and gross totals across social networks. Measurement will include social media authorship (e.g., posts, Tweets), engagement (e.g., comments, likes, replies, Retweets, shares), reach (audience and impressions) and demographics (age and gender) as available. Social Content Ratings are designed to adhere to the social media measurement guidelines created by the Media Rating Council (MRC), with sponsorship and input from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

Social media conversation about original video programming from TV and over-the-top streaming providers will be measured for linear airtimes as well as on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week basis. The expanded metrics will build on the methodology and tracking system that Nielsen has developed over the past three years, since its initial agreement with Twitter. In support of Social Content Ratings, Facebook will deliver directly to Nielsen the aggregated and anonymous program-related conversation on Facebook, including posts shared with friends, family and publicly, while respecting and in full compliance with consumer privacy.

By measuring program-related conversation across social networking services, TV networks and streaming content providers can assess the effectiveness of social audience engagement strategies and better understand the relationship between social activity and tune-in. Additionally, comprehensive social measurement for programming will support agencies and advertisers in making data-driven media planning and buying decisions as they seek to maximize social buzz generated through ad placements, sponsorships, and integrations.

“We applaud Nielsen for working with the industry to bring together major social media players in order to provide comprehensive measurement,” said David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation and President of CBS VISION. “Nielsen’s measurement of multiple social networks, each of which consumers use in different and unique ways, will provide programmers with a more holistic view of the total social conversation and deeper insights.”

“Twitter thrives as the destination for public, live conversations about TV between viewers, talent and networks for millions of fans across the globe every night.” said Kirstine Stewart, Head of North American Media, Twitter. “Our continued alliance with Nielsen is one of the many ways we seek to provide value and measurement to the industry.”

“Every day, television fans from around the world use Facebook to talk about the shows and stars they love with the people that matter most to them,” said Nick Grudin, Director of Media Partnerships, Facebook. “Fans connect with each other while the show is airing and continue the conversation throughout the week in between episodes. We’re excited that Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings will now reflect the social conversation around television in its entirety.”

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