It’s not a new discovery in the media world that people can utilize multiple screens at the same time. What research hasn’t established is the concept of one media screen driving the other’s viewership up and vice versa. According to AdvertisingAge, the Nielsen Company and Twitter are working together to discover the correlation between live TV ratings and tweets.
Using SocialGuide, which derives from Nielsen and McKinsey & Co, over 221 primetime broadcast programs were monitored for the TV ratings and tweets. The study found that higher TV ratings often lead to more tweets of the particular show. Results showed a 48% increase in tweets when a live TV program grew in ratings. Likewise, as the number of tweets grew, it increased the live TV ratings in about 29% of the studied episodes.
Reports warn that this outcome may not occur with every program. A few examples of extremely hyped TV shows on Twitter that did not respond with high ratings were Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong and SyFy’s first viewing of “Sharknado.”
Overall, it makes sense. If you are browsing Twitter while watching something on TV and see a lot of chatter about a different program, it wouldn’t take much effort to change the channel. Similarly, if a particular show is so great for a variety of reasons, and you just need to share the wealth with everyone else, you may tweet about it.