Twitter increases UK TV ratings

29 September 2014

LONDON: More than one in ten (11%) of British TV programmes increased their ratings over the past year because of viewers' tweets, according to a new study into the correlation between TV viewing levels and Twitter activity.

The report, "A Year in the Life of TV and Twitter" from Kantar Media, the market research firm, also found the top 30 TV series accounted for 50% of all measured Twitter UK TV activity and 9% of viewing volume.

Excluding live sports and news, the study covered live TV programmes and analysed 110m tweets from the beginning of June 2013 to the end of May 2014.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it found twitter activity was particularly heavy for entertainment, talent shows, constructed reality, documentaries, soaps, special events and a few dramas, including Sherlock, Downtown Abbey and Doctor Who.

The X-Factor attracted the highest number of tweets over the year – the competitive music show delivered 9.4m tweets and accounted for 8.6% of all TV-related tweets.

It was followed by Celebrity Big Brother, Britain's Got Talent, Made in Chelsea and I'm a Celebrity. EastEnders, the BBC soap opera, also made it into the top ten.

At 4m tweets, the BRIT Awards in February 2014 was the highest rated show on Twitter in terms of tweets for a single broadcast show.

It was followed by I'm a Celebrity from November 2013 and Children in Need 2013, also broadcast last November, Britain's Got Talent and the X-Factor final.

Love Actually, broadcast on Christmas Day, was the most tweeted film of the year (150,000 tweets) while the most tweeted-about drama was the 50th anniversary edition of Doctor Who (just under 501,000 tweets).

"People have always talked about TV with friends and family, and Twitter extends these conversations outside the living room," said Andy Brown, global CEO of Kantar Media.

"This study demonstrates that 'twitter friendly' shows that encourage tweets during the broadcast or have a younger, evangelical audience for example, can punch above their weight. These conversations are encouraging all of us to turn on and tune in to great TV shows" he added.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff