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Social Media Buzz and Other Factors Change Television Ranking System

By admin | December 10, 2011

The tried and true Nielsen rating system has been considered the gold standard for determining how many people are watching a given show.

But new tools are challenging the old way of doing things by taking indicators like social media buzz and economic data into account. This will give advertisers and media buyers a clearer picture of the “true reach” of the show and its impact on audiences.

The new benchmarks will create a seller’s market because networks can more closely determine how much interest a show will garner from viewers – which spells out more ad impressions and revenue for advertisers.

For example, the Publicis Groupe SA ad-buying firm Optimedia creates listings of the size of television audiences by determining the number of people watching on TV, the web and mobile devices. In the past year, they added social media into the mix and figured in the mentions on Facebook and Twitter about a particular show. The data produces some surprising results. Fox’s Glee ranks just 55 on the Nielsen scale while Optimedia’s Content Power Ratings (CPR) ranks it as 2. NBC’s The Office has a 6 CPR rating and 105 in the Nielsen figures. ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy ranks 11 in the CPR scale and 27 on the Nielsen scale.

Online buzz is also becoming a factor in determining the success of new shows. Publicis’ Starcom Worldwide is teaming up with Network Insight’s to forecast a new show’s ad value based on online reaction. Although some worry that this type of “pre-analysis” could kill some potential hit shows before they reach the air, most are seeing the new tools and figures as valuable in determining where advertising dollars should go.

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