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Nielsen’s Twitter rating goes live this week

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Nielsen is firing up a new metric that measures the unique reach of tweets tied to TV shows. The Twitter rating looks at the universe of people who saw — not necessarily engaged with — tweets about a particular show. “If your show is creating conversations on Twitter, it is more valuable, and you should get credit for that,” said Rachael Horwitz, a spokeswoman for Twitter.

As you might expect, Twitter ratings don’t always line up with traditional ratings: most buzz about a TV show is driven by old-fashioned word of mouth, not social media.

Others point to Twitter’s younger-skewing demographics, the likelihood for some genres of shows to perform better, and Twitter’s smaller scale compared to the overall TV universe as reasons to express early uncertainty in the consistency of Twitter ratings. While Nielsen research has shown Twitter can drive TV ratings in some circumstances, not every network is sold on the potential quite yet.

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