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TV is not borderless Part II: Time for Social Media to Kill Nielsen Ratings?

TV is not borderless Part II: Time for Social Media to Kill Nielsen Ratings?

Facebook, love them or hate them they are game changers, paradigm breakers and even dare I say it revolutionaries.

The introduction of the Like button and subsequent roll-out for usage on outside of Facebook sites has changed the game and I don’t think we have seen just how much yet. If you look to your left you will see one on my modest little blog in the left frame, feel free to Like me 🙂

Like facebook

One of my pet peeves (as I’m sure you know) is the World Series philosophy when it comes to online entertainment: only the US need apply.


Hulu and others either require a US (or other permitted countries) IP address or in the case of iTunes a US credit card and billing address. I was at Techonomy 2010 yesterday in Ramat Gan, Israel and listened to Robert Scoble talk about this and how an Israeli journo explained that this web-isolationism (my phrase) forces anyone who wants to enter the digital age to go the Torrent route.

I spoke in a previous blog piece about creating a democratic TV: TV is not borderless or democratic .. so what- 

Today I read an article on BoingBoing by Craig Engler, General Manager and Senior VP of the one Channel I would love to come to Israel (or get access to via Hulu),

“Why watching TV online (mostly) doesn’t help ratings (for now).”

I follow him on Twitter as @syfy, we have never conversed mainly because I am sure he is swamped with tweets from fans and I am a needle in that huge haystack.

I enjoy what he has to say and enjoyed the article too, it got me thinking. Ratings… ratings… these statistics are huge money-makers and online just isn’t there perhaps because in the US the Nielsen Ratings system has been going on since 1920 without a great deal of change.

Now let’s take Facebook’s Like button and simply embed this at the end of each episode of an online TV program. Add some kind of incentive via the online platform for the participants and presto you have the Zuckerberg Ratings Company (Mark are you listening, let’s do lunch)

The added value is again, if you are Mr TV Exec and look at the Likes from other countries you can get an accurate predictor of how many oodles of cash your show is going to make in that country.

Correct me if I’m wrong, this is not rocket science. Let’s wax ideological for a moment even and say that entertainment as a common denominator between different cultures may build common ground.

What do you think?


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