Nielsen has always been the gold standard when it comes to TV ratings. But these days, strictly knowing how many people are watching a show is not enough. Most people split their time between TV and their tablets or phones. And many, many people share their reactions to live TV on Twitter.
This is the idea behind the "Nielsen Twitter TV Rating" a new metric available to the industry which measures Twitter engagement and Twitter engagement alone.
"As the experience of TV viewing continues to evolve, our TV partners have consistently asked for one common benchmark from which to measure the engagement of their programming," Twitter explained.
"This new metric is intended to answer that request, and to act as a complement and companion to the Nielsen TV rating," it said.
The tool is supposed to stand alongside Nielsen's existing products. It's only going to be available in fall next year. With access to the full Twitter stream, Nielsen will have all it needs to put together a comprehensive product. As for how relevant this data will be, that's for advertisers and TV channels to decide.