Most TV Tweets Happen During Actual Show, Not Commercials

Tweeting and TV: statsThere’s been lots of commotion about people using Twitter during television shows, and some concern that tweeting might be distracting viewers from TV advertisers.  However, new data from Nielsen’s SocialGuide service shows that most Twitter activity happens while the actual TV shows are airing — not during commercial time.

After analyzing the tweets sent during nearly 60 broadcast and cable shows, SocialGuide determined that 70% of tweets happen while the show itself is airing; only 3 in 10 tweets (30%) are sent during commercials. AdWeek has the full infographic from SocialGuide here.

According to SocialGuide, “The more commercial time in a program, the more tweets were sent in commercial time” — with no substantial differences between show genre (sports, drama, reality, comedy).

SocialGuide CEO Andrew Somosi told AdWeek, “It turns out that in some of the more compelling programs there are spikes in Twitter activity that coincide with significant plot moments. But as far as there being spikes during the commercials, that’s generally not the case.”

Nielsen Twitter TV RatingsThe data was released just before the launch of the new ‘Nielsen Twitter TV Rating,’ which is “slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season,” according to a Nielsen blog post announcing the deal last December.  According to Nielsen, “Twitter is the preeminent source of real-time television engagement data.”

Are you surprised that only 3 in 10 TV tweets happen during commercials?  And do you think marketers will take Nielsen’s new Twitter TV rating seriously?