Super Bowl XLIX is over, and the virtual water cooler stats are out. This year's big game was the most talked about in social media history.
Facebook measured "people per minute" (PPM) discussing the game, while Twitter Inc. tallied "tweets per minute" (TPM) under the Super Bowl hashtag #SB49. TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), meanwhile, ranked the top commercials and most re-watched moments according to data collected from roughly 30,000 TiVo households.
Throughout the game, Facebook recorded more than 65 million people worldwide discussing the match-up between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the half-time show staged by Katy Perry. The vast majority of that group, 55 million, came from the US, with Facebook activity peaking in the final moments of the game. As the event wrapped up with a hugely controversial play that handed the Patriots the win, more than 1.3 million unique people per minute were "posting, commenting, and liking content related to the Super Bowl." The finale of Katy Perry's half-time performance generated a PPM rating of 1.02 million.
On Twitter, tweets about the Super Bowl were up 14% from 2014, jumping from 24.9 million total global tweets to 28.4 million in 2015. A large portion of those tweets originated in the US, but users also stayed up late to tweet about the game in the UK and flooded Twitter in parts of Brazil, Argentina and other Latin American countries. As with Facebook, the final minutes of the match-up generated the highest engagement numbers, with the final intercepted pass bringing in 395,000 tweets per minute.
TiVo focused heavily on commercial rankings in its analysis of Super Bowl audience data. It found that the top three promotional spots were Budweiser's "Lost Dog" commercial, a PSA that played back a real 911 emergency call and the Doritos "Middle Seat" commercial. However, TiVo also looked at overall viewership numbers and found that the half-time audience exceeded viewership for the actual game for the fifth year in a row. The most re-watched moments of the game itself were the fight in the final minutes of the game, the reaction shots to the Patriots' interception and the juggled catch by Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse right before the Seahawks turned the ball over at the end.
The rapid digital analysis of the 2015 Super Bowl highlights just how far technology is dragging the old-school Nielsen TV ratings system out of the dark ages. Social media, set-top data, and online viewing statistics are increasingly affecting how brands decide to advertise their products. The Nielsen Co. is doing its best to keep up with initiatives like Nielsen Twitter TV ratings and multiscreen measurement, but there are more competing sources of data analysis available now. So Nielsen has a lot to do to keep up and keep advertisers happy. (See Nielsen Names Top TV on Twitter and Nielsen: Multiscreen Viewing Taking Off.)
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading