Tweets influence ratings for some TV episodes, Nielsen recently declared. But are viewers tweeting during programs or tuning out during commercial breaks to join in the buzz? According to new data from SocialGuide that’s based on an analysis of 59 cable and broadcast episodes, 30% of airtime tweets are posted during commercial breaks, a figure that corresponds to the share of commercial time during the episodes’ airtimes. In other words, there’s no evidence of a spike in TV tweeting activity during ads.
Diving a little further into specifics, the study finds that the share of airtime tweets sent during commercial time ranged from a low of 8% to a high of 43%, with those figures corresponding almost exactly with the share of airtime allocated to commercials (9% of airtime for the low end; 43% for the high end).
The same finding applied when sorting tweeting activity by genre. On the low end, 25% of tweets sent during sports programs were posted during commercials, and in turn, commercials accounted for 24% of airtime during those shows. On the high end, 35% of tweets sent during comedy shows were posted during commercials; commercials represented 35% of airtime.
Just because there’s no spike in tweeting during commercials doesn’t mean that viewers aren’t using their mobile devices, though: a recent study by Symphony Advanced Media found that participants spent one-third of TV ad viewing time looking at their mobile phone or tablet.
For the moment, that doesn’t seem to have had an impact on the influence of TV ads.