For a while now, Nielsen, famous for its television ratings, has received criticism for what many view as outdated methods of data collection. This is mostly because its electronic data collection – and even its paper surveys and viewing diaries sent out to certain households – rely on people actually tuning in to television programs at their regularly scheduled times.
Who does that anymore?
Hulu, DVR, Netflix, and hey, let’s not forget the days of taping shows on the VCR, have all made a new ratings system a necessity. Finally, Nielsen has one on the way to supplement its old ratings, and it’s not too bad of an idea.
Soon, Nielsen will roll out the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, which will monitor how often shows are followed and discussed on the social media site, as well as how many people those tweets are reaching.
It’s a clever solution in a lot of ways – using Twitter keeps the playing field level for all major networks, while avoiding the trap of favoring one source of television. The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will be able to get a sense of how popular a show is while completely ignoring how (or when) people are actually watching these shows – which is exactly how it should be in this era.
The new ratings system isn’t perfect – not everyone who watches television uses Twitter, and not all Twitter users feel particularly inclined to use the medium to discuss television. But, as a means of figuring out how popular shows are in comparison to one another, it should provide a decent enough landscape of the television world. At any rate, it should prove to be more accurate than the outdated system in use now.
Via Ad Age