Insights from Dick Costolo and Les Moonves from the Nielsen Consumer 360 Conference

June 6, 2013

By Bill Duggan

I attended the Nielsen Consumer 360 Conference earlier in the week in Phoenix, along with about 1000 other attendees.  Below are highlights from the two opening speakers of the conference, Dick Costolo and Leslie Moonves.

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, spoke of the interplay between television and social media, calling Twitter “the social soundtrack for television.”  It is increasingly common for media companies to spark social conversations by integrating Twitter and hashtags into programs.  Doing so extends the live reach of a show.  Mr. Costolo encouraged marketers to jump into the conversation and then create campaigns based on those conversations. Those conversations can then become incredible earned media assets.  He noted that the qualities of Twitter that lend themselves to engagement are being public, transparent, real-time, conversational,widely distributed, and totally auditable.  Further, a new metric will help provide an indication of the depth of engagement – Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will be introduced in the fall to measure the reach of tweets of programs and ads.

Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS, emphasized how content drives everything as “he who has the best content ultimately wins.”  He said that technology has become a friend, rather than an enemy, and noted Netflix, DVRs, Twitter, and as additional ways for CBS to share its content.   He spoke about how “binge consumption” of programming (i.e., watching an entire season of a program—often a serialized program—over a weekend) is becoming increasingly important and noted Breaking Bad as an example of a show whose success has been accelerated by binge consumption.  Regarding the promise of interactive TV, Mr. Mooves said that he personally doesn’t want to interact with a drama but sees great promise for sports, live reality, and awards shows.

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