Two-way causal impact of Twitter and TV ratings 2013

This statistic shows the results of a survey investigating the causal relationship between twitter use and TV ratings. In essence, the survey aimed to discover whether tweets about a certain show encouraged more viewers, or whether increases in related Twitter activity was caused purely by those already tuning in. The study found that there was indeed a two-way causal relationship. For example, in 48 percent of episodes surveyed it was found that live TV ratings influenced Twitter activity. Conversely, the number of TV related tweets, led to statistically significant movement in live TV ratings in 29 percent of episodes.

Share of episodes measured where tweets influenced TV ratings vs when ratings caused tweets in 2013

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Release date

August 2013


United States

Survey time period


Special properties

Broadcast primetime program episodes

Supplementary notes

* To obtain the data Nielsen conducted a minute-to-minute analysis of live TV rating trends and tweets for 221 broadcast primetime program episodes.

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