For anyone inside Hollywood, TV ratings are something to obsess over. But, for those of us who are doing the actual watching, we could seemingly care less about shares and percentages. The way we judge a show's popularity is, you guessed it, by our friends and peers. For example: Everyone we know was watching Breaking Bad, therefore everyone ever was watching Breaking Bad. Now Nielsen, the industry leader in ratings, has developed a new standard that takes into account the way we consume media: Twitter.
The company announced recently that its latest ratings system will begin to measure the shows with the greatest reach on the site. It's a fascinating angle, since several of today's most-watched series (Big Bang Theory and NCIS, among others) don't even break the top ten when it comes to audience tweets. The first issued report listed Breaking Bad as the outright winner, joined by The Voice, Jimmy Kimmel, and Dancing With The Stars. Experts believe the disparity is mostly caused by the fact that the social media site's 49 million users tend to skew young and live in larger cities, a group that's drawn to far different programs.
Not only will the report shed some light on what America's most plugged-in citizens are watching, but it will also provide insights to advertisers. The thinking is, if audiences are tuned-in enough to tweet a show's every twist and turn, they'll also be paying more attention to the show's advertising. (Or, if you're like us, you wait until the commercials to go on your Twitter spree so as not to miss the important parts.) Either way, it's good to know we're not the only ones glued to our iPhones during our favorite shows. (WSJ)