Skip to main content

CRE to Study the Impact of Social Media on TV Viewing

In a sign that advertisers and TV programmers would like better data on how social media is impacting the TV industry, the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) has announced that it will be conducting a three-pronged study on the relationship between social media and TV viewing.

CRE, which focused on improving audience measurement methodology and is funded by Nielsen, plans to complete the study in the fourth quarter of 2012.

"We will gain insights about new consumer behaviors that have evolved as social media has become more connected to television viewing," said Beth Rockwood, senior VP, market resources, Discovery Communications, and chair of the CRE's Social Media Committee, in a statement. "This learning will allow us to better understand how viewing patterns are changing and how measurement of those behaviors can be improved. Since no single approach is likely to provide the full picture, we felt it best to study behaviors simultaneously from three different perspectives. In addition to learning about social media and television, we will also gain more insight about the research methods employed."

The research will include a quantitative survey, conducted by Keller Fay Group, of up to 1,600 participants recruited by Nielsen; a social media analytics project undertaken by NM Incite, with Bluefin Labs providing social TV analytics; and ethnographies provided by Nielsen's digital ethnography unit Nielsen Life360.

An academic team led by Dr. Peter Fader, professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and codirector of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, will work with Keller Fay, Nielsen, Bluefin Labs and NM Incite, which is a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, to analyze the data.