Welcome to another edition of the Baer Facts! Today, Jay and I talk about social media’s impact on television viewership. Nielsen recently published a report titled, The Follow-Back: Understanding the Two-Way Causal Relationship Between Twitter Activity and TV Viewership. The report asked a simple question, “Do tweets drive consumers to tune-in to a program, or are viewers just chatting about shows they’re already watching?” We weigh in.
There has been a lot of research in the past about social media’s impact on broadcast viewership. However, the research historically has all been correlation that shows that popular television shows get a lot of tweets. They basically say that popular television shows get more tweets. Of course, that should make complete sense to most people. If the television show is more popular… it should receive more tweets.
Nielsen found that in 29% of the cases more tweets actually resulted in higher viewership. This shows an actual causal relationship between social media usage and viewership. It is extremely interesting because it is going to help Twitter and Facebook sell more advertising to major broadcast entities.
It shows an even greater convergence of the multi-screen environment. All screens are starting to overlap and this consumer trend has implications for all of us in the communication world.