BuzzMetrics to Monitor TV Show Buzz

Online word-of-mouth measurement firm BuzzMetrics has launched a buzz monitoring practice tracking consumer-generated media focusing on TV shows.

The new TV*BuzzMetrics ratings, which will be in pilot phase through June 2006, will track the top 30 prime time network programs, and will be delivered in a monthly report that ranks each show’s “buzz level” and sentiment to assign an engagement index the company calls a “TV Buzz Rating.” Data will be gleaned from discussions occurring on blogs, message boards and other social media.

“By tapping into the passionate communities and commentary naturally occurring around television programming, we can reveal the DNA that binds programming and viewers, and move closer to understanding the drivers of engagement,” said Jonathan Carson, president and CEO of BuzzMetrics.

The service aims to help television executives and advertisers by helping to explain key drivers of viewer engagement, and to understand the potential value of new programs, Carson said.

Initiative Media has signed on as the first agency client for the service. The media buying firm will also use the TV*BuzzMetrics ratings to build its proprietary PropheSEE buzz research product.

The move is no surprise, given BuzzMetrics’ recent acquisition by Israel’s Trendum, which boasts VNU as a minority investor. VNU is the parent of TV-centric research brands Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen.

“This service will help our clients gain greater qualitative insights on both consumer engagement and sentiment on television programs,” said Ron Schneier, general manager at Nielsen Ventures, and an executive advisor to BuzzMetrics. “Additionally, this service will provide a deeper understanding of how early technology adopters are responding to new forms of distribution, including the video iPod, and content delivered via mobile devices.”

Other metrics provided in the reports include historical buzz, viewer sentiment, program involvement rankings, breakouts by network and genre, and qualitative factors driving buzz. Feedback from the TV*BuzzMetrics Industry Advisory Group will be incorporated into the full product release, expected in the spring.