Nielsen is now going to measure what it calls the “unique audience” for what’s on television by tracking tweets.
The New York Times reports that today, the company will introduce Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, a product that “professes to measure all the activity and reach of Twitter conversation about shows, even if it has yet to be embraced by television executives and gain a broad client base.”
Nielsen ratings are well-known as the audience measurement system for the television industry. Nielsen households are chosen at random and given a device that measures what is being watched when, and by whom.
Beyond tracking the number of tweets written about a show, the company will also track who is seeing those tweets.
“Only 98,600 people wrote messages on Twitter about the two-hour season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” last month,” the NYTimes reports, “but 225,000 of them in total, were seen by millions of Twitter users, some of whom might have fired up their digital video recorders or laptops to watch the episode later.”
Twitter has made collaboration with the television industry a priority as it seeks to impress investors. The social media giant filed for its IPO last week, and within the S-1, the word “television” was mentioned 42 times. Facebook, similarly, has used Nielsen research to help advertisers compare its audience to that of TV’s.