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Twitter a driving force behind TV ratings, study finds

Updated

Since its inception, Twitter has been a venue for fans to banter about their favorite TV shows, but to what degree do these two mediums affect each other?

A new study released by TV ratings company Nielson provides statistical evidence to the theory that Twitter and TV benefit each other. Their report found that a high volume of tweets significantly changed TV ratings 29% of the time, and that high viewership had a meaningful impact in related tweets 48% of the time.

“We saw a statistically significant causal influence indicating that a spike in TV ratings can increase the volume of tweets, and, conversely, a spike in tweets can increase tune-in,” said Nielson’s Chief Research officer Paul Donato in a statement.

So what have companies done to take advantage of this?

“There are hundreds and hundreds of apps out there that readily acknowledge that people will do two things at the same time,” Eric Yaverbaum, founder of 11media.com and social media expert, told msnbc’s Chris Jansing . “They will watch television and they’ll be social at the same exact time.”

While this study may prompt more companies to invest in social media to reach consumers, Yaverbaum has doubts that its findings benefit advertisers .

“The growing number of people statistically that are DVRing—which means they are not watching commercials ever anymore; they don’t take that into account at all in this study,” he said. “Our television viewing habits are really changing. To measure them in the old way does not make sense any more.”

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Twitter a driving force behind TV ratings, study finds

Updated