Nielsen using social media for ratings


by @DavidAPortney

I stumbled upon this article this week, and naturally went into full blown dork mode in excitement.  I won’t go into too much detail about the article, but it’s about time the media powers that be take into the account the conversation happening online is just as important, if not more important than the number of eyeballs on a television screen.

The problem with only measuring the eyeballs is that there’s no call to action.  Unless there’s a clever producer on a popular game show, nothing really prompts you to DO anything.  You simply sit on the couch then when the show is over the producers and advertisers hope and pray their ads had a last impact.

It will be interesting to see how this changes marketing and advertising of television programs and live sporting events moving forward.  The cost of traditional TV commercials might drop if Nielsen can prove that social media behavior is more influential.  What networks might lose in TV advertising they could gain (and then some) in social media advertising.  You might see more targeted and well thought out marketing campaigns in between and leading up to the air dates to build interest and momentum.

Of course once it’s over, people will inevitably share their thoughts and reactions using hash tags to spread their influence.  If a program can have a sponsored  hash tag that people will use without it being too “sales pitchy,” can you imagine how much money these networks will rake in?

Traditional television commercials are too much like “billboard advertising,” where sure you get eye balls, but who cares if you can’t measure its effectiveness?  It’s a hell of a lot easier to convince a superior to invest more in social media if you have the numbers to back it up, and that’s exactly what Nielsen is helping us do.

(image courtesy of


About dportmedia

Thanks for checking out my page! The purpose of this blog is to touch on the interaction between media and society. I don’t profess to have all of the answers, but hopefully we can have meaningful and cordial discourse on the topics most relevant to all of us. Follow me on Twitter @DavidAPortney
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