Nielsen: Total Social TV Measurement Relies On Linear

By Karen Fratti 

LinearPost-01Everyone can pretty much agree that measuring how viewers are watching TV and tweeting about it can give us important insights. Just how it should be done is up for debate. A new Nielsen Study was released today that looks at the methodology behind live social television measurement. Here are some of the top level findings:

  • For social data to be reasonably acted upon, it needs to be collected in a trustworthy way, grounded in a sound methodology that reflects true consumer behavior.
  • Twitter activity would be significantly undercounted if linear terms, such as actors’ names and handles, were not used for measurement during live TV.
  • These same linear terms would bring in a significant amount of irrelevant activity when programs are not airing live.


One of the most interesting findings is that measurement for linear programming and then for programs after they air, need to be different. Nielsen writes, “outside of the live airing, 81 percent of Twitter TV activity measured using these same linear terms was not relevant to the aired program.”


Viewers are reacting to programming all of the time, but for digital marketers, there are intricacies when it comes to measuring their Twitter TV activity and how you use it. activity.

You can read the full study over at Nielsen Insights.