The idea of evaluating “engagement” with a TV program based on the twitter traffic is indeed an interesting one. When the Nielsen Twitter TV ratings launch in Australia it absolultely looks to play in Ten’s favour. They’ve always cornered the market when it comes to trending topics and volume of social media traffic with some of their major shows, and it opens up new advertising opportunities for a network desperately seeking new means of making money. How they stack up against the traditional OzTAM figures, and what the market (and media) make of them will be very curious indeed. From the press release:

Sydney, Australia – September 1, 2014 – Australian agencies and advertisers will soon be able to understand the extent to which audiences engage socially with Network Ten’s programming after the company signed a deal to become the first Australian TV network to measure social media engagement via Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.

Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, and Network Ten will soon be able to determine the value of the network’s socially engaged audience.

With popular programs such as The Bachelor Australia, Family Feud, The Project and The Living Room all currently screening, and Masterchef Australia, which has just finished a highly successful sixth season, understanding the reach and engagement of Network Ten’s audience online will offer valuable insights for advertisers.

Looking at The Bachelor in the US, the local version of which is now screening on TEN in Australia, it was ranking in the Top 10 most socially engaged programs among non-sporting events in the US in the first half of 2014. The final episode had a unique Twitter TV audience of 6.6 million people in the US, with a staggering 107 million impressions seen.

Network Ten Chief Programming Officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “Television is no longer just a linear viewing experience. We are finding great success in taking our content across multiple screens and creating richer viewing experiences for – and deeper engagement with – our audiences.

“MasterChef Australia, Offspring, The Bachelor Australia and other Network Ten shows are multi- media experiences for viewers and advertisers. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are an important part of our strategy to understand when, where and how people are engaging with our content. They will be an invaluable intelligence tool for all parts of our business.”

According to the latest Nielsen Australian Connected Consumers report, 74 per cent of online Australians “dual screen”, meaning they engage with an additional screen such as a smartphone or tablet while viewing TV. Two in three (64 per cent) online Australians access content related to a TVprogram via the internet and there is 69 per cent smartphone penetration among Australians aged over 18 years.

Monique Perry, Head of Media at Nielsen, added: “Social media is transforming the way viewers watch and interact with TV as they are turning to Twitter as their ‘instant water-cooler’ to engage with other viewers in real time. TV is a very strong medium – and it’s even stronger when Twitter and TV are combined.

“Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, launching in Australia in the final quarter of 2014, will provide Network Ten with invaluable data as to who is engaging with their shows, so that their programs can be optimised for social engagement and advertisers can understand in more detail which programs have greatest audience energy.”

US statistics from Nielsen* show the potential of linking Twitter with TV shows. In an average month, 64 per cent of people who tweet about brands also tweet about TV programs. So if a brand is looking to engage people who are likely to share their brand message, connecting with social TV authors is a good place to start.

Network Ten Chief Sales Officer, Louise Barrett, said: “As the first-ever measure of Twitter TV reach, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will give us a new way to help our clients understand and drive social engagement with television content and their brands.

“We all know highly engaged audiences are extremely valuable to networks and marketers. Now we will be able to measure and understand that engagement and the interplay between television and social media. Network Ten is delighted to be the first Australian network to partner with Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.”

Nielsen Twitter TV
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* Source: Nielsen ambassadors.html