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Why Nielsen's New Social TV Capabilities Matter

Nielsen and NM Incite (a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company) have acquired SocialGuide, a provider of social TV measurement, analytics and audience engagement solutions.

SocialGuide is a real-time social TV capture service covering programming across 232 US TV channels in English and Spanish, and over 30,000 programs. Built for linear TV, SocialGuide's intelligent analytics and engagement platform provides insight on the social impact of TV, enabling networks to engage with the social fan base in realtime.

Yeah, but so what?

If there was no social networking, then "The Walking Dead" (the most social of TV shows) would still be a hit. Who makes money off of people tweeting about the latest zombie kill?

As Ad Age described, Social TV is ripe for sponsorships. In February, CBS signed Target Stores and GM to sponsor Grammys pre-show coverage. Lexus, recognizing that USA Network's "Suits" was popular among affluent viewers (and one of the top rated Cable shows), sponsored both the show on TV and its social-gamification program "Suits Recruits." Samsung and Pepsi are just two sponsors of "Video Extra" clips of both for both Fox shows "The Mindy Project" and "The New Girl."

"The skyrocketing adoption and use of social media among consumers is transforming TV-watching into a more immediate and shared experience. As TV networks see this phenomenon unfold, they require understanding of the impact of social TV on their programming, ratings and advertising effectiveness," said Steve Hasker, President, Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.

"The opportunity in social TV is too big to ignore and there is a need for standard metrics and research to uncover the effect of social TV on programming and advertising strategies," said Andrew Somosi, CEO of NM Incite. "TV networks are expanding their research, advertising and engagement efforts across social media. The powerful combination of Nielsen, NM Incite and SocialGuide will enable us to deliver unparalleled insights and capabilities to our TV and advertiser clients."

SocialGuide will be integrated immediately into NM Incite, the hub of Nielsen’s social media measurement and analytics efforts. SocialGuide’s software technology and data streams complement NM Incite's existing software and data solutions. Together, Nielsen, NM Incite and SocialGuide will focus on efforts to quantify the relationship between social TV and TV ratings to enable advertisers to maximize the impact of their spend, and provide new research metrics to understand social TV's impact on consumer behavior and viewing habits.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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