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Media Future of TV Second Screen

How Nielsen Social looks beyond owned content to measure the whole social TV conversation


By Adam Flomenbaum | Co-Executive Editor

December 5, 2016 | 3 min read

Social TV measurement is no easy task. Networks (and measurement companies) would like nothing more than if fans strictly used official handles and hashtags when tweeting about favorite shows; in reality, fans often reference inside jokes, use made-up hashtags, and express feelings via emojis.



Nielsen Social, which measures social TV activity, released today findings from a deep dive it conducted into how people actually interact with shows.

The first thing Nielsen must do when measuring shows is to develop a comprehensive classifier set, consisting of things like keywords and phrases people may use when talking about shows. In fact, just 47 per cent of tweets sent about primetime shows during the 2015-2016 broadcast TV season used an official program hashtag. For primetime reality series, just 34 per cent of tweets featured the official hashtag. When shows aren’t airing, the numbers are even lower: just 26 per cent of tweets about non-live shows use official hashtags.

Another major consideration for social TV measurement is the owned versus organic conversation. Nielsen looked at the Twitter conversation around new series episodes that aired in October and found that organic tweets (those by show fans) accounted for 81 per cent of show engagement; just 19 per cent of engagement stemmed from network, program, or talent accounts. Still, owned tweets garnered an average of 70 engagements per tweet compared to just 8 engagements per original organic tweet.Painting a complete social TV measurement picture – and determining its implications – is near impossible, but by considering a wide range of classifiers and both owned and organic conversation, Nielsen Social continues to take steps in the right direction.

Media Future of TV Second Screen

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