Facebook and Twitter dug in their heels Monday in their attempts to establish beachheads in the world of television, with Facebook announcing plans to release data on actions (likes, comments, and shares) related to TV shows to 10 networks in eight overseas countries, while Twitter announced that it will provide data to ratings powerhouse Nielsen on the number of tweets about TV shows and those tweets’ total audiences.
The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog reported that Facebook will extend the initiative it announced last week — to detail the number of actions generated by specific episodes, as well as how many Facebook users were responsible for those actions, in weekly reports to the “Big Four” television networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) — to 10 networks in eight countries, including TF1 in France, Channel 4 in the U.K., ARD in Germany, Esporte Interativo in Brazil, and the Star networks in India.
According to Digits, Facebook believes it has an edge in the global TV market due to its international reach, with 83 percent of its users located outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose provided Digits with prepared remarks in advance of his keynote address Monday at MIPCOM‘s Media Mastermind Keynote Series in Cannes, France. Topics discussed by Rose included:
- The data Facebook is providing to TV networks are important because they reflect the reactions of real people, as conversations about TV shows “are happening between friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.”
- TV events that prompted explosions of comments on Facebook included the final episode of AMC drama “Breaking Bad,” the birth of Prince George, the Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament, and shows such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones and PBS’ “Downton Abbey.”
- When Miley Cyrus brought national attention to “twerking” during the MTV Video Music Awards, 9 million Facebook users — a total equal to 90 percent of the TV audience for the VMAs — generated 26 million interactions on the social network.
- The National Basketball Association Finals generated 125 million interactions.
- The 2010 campaign that launched on Facebook pushing Betty White as a host for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” tallied 500,000 likes in just over two months, leading to White hosting “SNL,” even though the idea “seemed crazy to just about everyone.” The White-hosted episode was “SNL’s” highest-rated installment in two years.
As for Twitter, the Journal reported that it will provide Nielsen with details on the number of tweets about TV shows and the number of Twitter users who saw those tweets, and the newspaper added that the best-performing shows in Nielsen’s TV ratings do not match up with Twitter’s rankings, as CBS hits “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS” did not crack Twitter’s top 10.
Twitter Spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz told the Journal:
If your show is creating conversations on Twitter, it is more valuable, and you should get credit for that.
And CBS said in a statement to the Journal:
We continue to work with all of the leading social networks to extend the fan experience of our shows.
Readers: Is there enough room for Facebook and Twitter in this race to provide TV networks with social media data?
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