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March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by Nielsen and SocialGuide confirms the relationship between Twitter and TV ratings. In addition to analyzing Tweets about live TV, the study compared the impact of Twitter against a number of key variables in order to gauge the strength of the relationship of Twitter with ratings. In evaluating the Fall 2012 premiere and midseason program ratings of over 140 broadcast and cable programs, Twitter proved to be one of three variables - - including prior year rating and advertising spend - - to positively impact TV ratings in a statistically significant way.
"We expected to see a correlation between Twitter and TV ratings, but this study quantifies the strength of that relationship," said
Andrew Somosi, CEO of SocialGuide. "We see three key factors. While prior year rating accounts for the lion's share of the variability in TV ratings, Twitter's presence as a top three influencer tells us that Tweeting about live TV is likely a significant indicator of program engagement."
According to the study, for premiere episodes, an 8.5% increase in Twitter volume is associated with a 1% increase in TV program ratings for 18-34 year olds. Additionally, a 14.0% increase in Twitter volume is associated with a 1% increase in TV program ratings for 35-49 year olds, reflecting a stronger relationship between Twitter and TV for younger audiences.
Further, the study found that Twitter's correlation to TV ratings strengthens for midseason episodes for both age groups. An increase in Twitter volume of 4.2% and 8.4% is associated with a 1% increase in ratings for 18-34 year olds and 35-49 year olds, respectively. Moreover, by midseason Twitter was responsible for more of the variance in ratings for 18-34 year olds than advertising spend.