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Nielsen will measure social media activity

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Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) recently announced the launch of Social Content Ratings, the most comprehensive measure of program-related social media activity across both Facebook and Twitter.

This marks the first time social TV insights across Facebook and Twitter will be measured with a standardized, third-party methodology and shared with the industry. Social Content Ratings plans to incorporate Instagram insights at a later date.

Social Content Ratings is an expanded service that will replace Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings in all markets, includingAustralia,Italy,Mexicoand the U.S.

In addition to providing total social TV measurement for TV networks and over-the-top (OTT) streaming providers, Social Content Ratings includes social TV advertising solutions and engagement tools to help TV networks, agencies and advertisers maximize the social impact of their cross-platform strategies.

"With social media playing an increasing role in consumers' lives and TV experiences, its value for the media industry continues to mature," said Sean Casey, president ofNielsen Social. "We are excited to introduce Social Content Ratings as the first standardized measure for Social TV that networks, agencies, and advertisers can trust for TV planning and informing strategies across social networks."

Nielsen uses an evolving set of over 1 million classifier combinations to measure organic and owned activity on Facebook and Twitter in a standardized way. Classifiers are program-related terms, including accounts, handles, hashtags, talent names and other phrases associated with programs, and are systematically identified and applied tocomprehensively measure relevant social activitywhen a program is airing, and on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week basis.

Nielsen receives aggregated anonymous topic data directly from Facebook and accesses full-fidelity APIs from Twitter in order to measure total social TV activity across social networks while respecting privacy. Both public social media activity and activity taking place between friends is measured. Facebook Messenger data is not available to Nielsen and will not be included in measurement.

Social Content Ratings metrics are designed to adhere to thesocial media measurement guidelinescreated by the Media Rating Council (MRC), breaking down total activity into original "authored" content, such as posts and Tweets, and "engagement" with that content, such as comments and Retweets. Social Content Ratings also provides age and gender demographics for Facebook. Unique audience and impressions for Facebook, planned for a later date, will quantify the number of people seeing program-related activity.

Social Content Ratings will also support the analysis of "owned" media strategies by measuring the engagement with content posted by official accounts associated with a program or network. Nielsen currently measures more than 44,000 owned Twitter accounts for casts and athletes in addition to program and network accounts. This tracking enables engagement with these accounts to be precisely attributed to programming when relevant. At a later date, a break-out of engagement with owned properties will quantify how owned content contributes to total program engagement.

"The media industry has needed a standardized way to analyze how TV audiences respond to events and programming across social networks,"said David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp. and president of CBS Vision. "Nielsen is delivering this measurement to the market today with the launch of Social Content Ratings. We welcome this first-of-its-kind solution, and look forward to leveraging this data to maximize the reach of our properties and bring new value to advertisers."

"Measuring the social media response to TV programs holistically across social networks is critical to connecting with audiences week after week,"said Tom Ziangas, SVP of Research,AMC Networks. "We commend Nielsen for bringing a standardized cross-platform measurement for social TV to the market today with Social Content Ratings."

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