Nielsen, NM Incite Buy SocialGuide to Enhance Social TV Ratings

By Devon Glenn 

Nielsen and NM Incite have acquired social TV analytics startup SocialGuide for an undisclosed amount of money, the companies announced today.  The deal will bring the standard Nielsen ratings that much closer to being able to quantify what television viewers are saying on the second screen.

“The skyrocketing adoption and use of social media among consumers is transforming TV-watching into a more immediate and shared experience. As TV networks see this phenomenon unfold, they require understanding of the impact of social TV on their programming, ratings and advertising effectiveness,” said Steve Hasker, president of global media products and advertiser solutions at Nielsen in a statement. “Nielsen’s expertise in creating industry standard consumer measurement means we are uniquely suited to establish a deeper understanding of today’s highly-engaged consumers through social TV metrics.  We are thrilled by the addition of SocialGuide to our portfolio and welcome them to Nielsen.”

Nielsen said it plans to integrate SocialGuide’s software and data streams into NM Incite, the hub of the company’s social media measurement and analytics efforts.  A joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company, NM Incite uses social media to provide consumer insights for marketers.

SocialGuide measures Twitter activity for every program aired, in both English and Spanish, across 234 U.S. television channels. The company also has a solution for  identifying and reaching out to the most influential people within a network’s social TV audience.

Update: We learned more about the deal in a phone call with NM Incite CEO Andrew Somosi and SocialGuide founder Sean Casey.

Somosi said his company chose SocialGuide because it was “the most comprehensive player in terms of channels and programs that they cover,” especially the Spanish-language channels. “We were pleased with the rigor that Sean and the team apply” to their analysis of Twitter activity.

Casey said that while the startup had brought in 35 broadcast, cable, and agency clients since launching its SocialGuide Intelligence (SGI) product in May, Nielsen and NM Incite would help move the company toward the goal of “100 percent TV penetration.”

Both execs said they were working together to standardize the core metrics for social TV. According to Somosi, the ratings system of the future will need to measure two populations: the people who are actively engaging on social media and the people who see the activity, but who don’t participate. Current metrics “overlook the second dimension,” he said.

Image by Marcio Eugenio via Shutterstock.