Nielsen Snaps Up SocialGuide

Startup's 12 Employees to Become Part of NM Incite, Nielsen’s JV With McKinsey

Nielsen and NM Incite, the research company’s joint venture with McKinsey & Co., have acquired SocialGuide, a 12-employee startup that provides social TV measurement and analytics solutions.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SocialGuide’s employees, including founder and CEO Sean Casey, will become part of NM Incite.

New York-based SocialGuide, founded in 2010, has analyzed more than 927.8 million social TV comments made on Twitter. Those span more than 30,000 shows in English and Spanish on 234 U.S. broadcast and cable channels. The startup’s system, built for linear TV, is designed to provide insight on how social interactions affect TV viewing and let networks engage with social fans in real time.

With the SocialGuide system, NM Incite will work to develop a social TV metric that ties back to Nielsen’s traditional TV metrics, according to NM Incite CEO Andrew Somosi. He did not have a timeline for when that is expected to be available.

“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,” Somosi said. “TV networks are expanding their research, advertising and engagement efforts across social media."

Other companies that provide social TV analysis and metrics include Bluefin Labs, which has a partnership with Rentrak; Networked Insights; and Wiredset’s Trendrr, which provides the data for Multichannel News’ Buzz Meter feature.

Casey said SocialGuide’s system is used by 35 networks. “They’ve been telling us more about what kinds of features they want,” he said. Social activity measured by SocialGuide increased 300% in October 2012 year over year, with 118 million tweets, largely about the U.S. presidential election, Casey said.

SocialGuide also developed a consumer-facing website and apps for individual users. However, that will not be the focus of going forward as SocialGuide becomes part of NM Incite, which is focused on providing social media measurement and analytics to business customers.

SocialGuide had raised $2 million from individual investors, with funding led by Alex Zubillaga, former head of digital strategy for Warner Music Group.