Back to Research Overview


Canvs has conducted the biggest Twitter data viewership study ever to prove that emotions are correlated to program ratings. This study uses Canvs’ patent-pending technology to classify viewers’ Emotional Reactions to over 5,700 episodes across program genres to develop a predictive model identifying the core emotions that predict whether viewership increases week to week.


Ask anybody who’s ever watched and loved a TV show why they continue to tune in week in and out and they’ll inevitably answer with an emotion. “I love Jon Snow” or “The action scenes are crazy!” or “The plot twists are so intense!” We know that emotions are important to television and at Canvs, we've made it our mission to prove this so.

Canvs is the expert in emotional analysis, and proved we are 200% more accurate than sentiment analysis at parsing through how Millennials feel. Canvs is unmatched in understanding the slang, idioms, and misspellings that people use when communicating via social media — so much so that over 65% of emotions Canvs is tracking are not recognizable by a dictionary.

In fall 2015, Canvs took this understanding to the next level by proving that emotions expressed on social media are aligned with ad recall concluding once and for all that Tweeting during a show means an audience is more engaged, not less. 




  • 5,709 episodes of 431 TV series airing between January 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015
  • Adult 18-49 Viewership in Millions (Live+Same Day)



  • Episode number

  • Program genre: Reality, Comedy, Drama

  • Total number of episode tweets



  • Canvs Emotion Rates (e.g. %Love, %Crazy, etc.)

Viewership source: Nielsen as reported by; Program Genre: Sourced from Gracenote; Tweet source: Twitter data from Nielsen, which measures program-related Twitter activity for linear episode airings and on a 24/7 basis; Episode number: Finales are flagged; Sample: Broadcast made up 40%; Cable made up 55%; Premium made up 5%. 29% of episodes were in first season.


Based on Canvs’ measurement of the emotions expressed on Twitter, we have developed a well-calibrated probability that viewership will go up or down next week. The key emotions that drive viewership vary across comedy, reality, and drama genres, and vary in level of importance across the genres. The key emotions, their predictive power by genre, and sample Tweets are below:

3 percentage.png


Read as: In Comedy, for every 1% increase in beautiful, there is a .3% increase in viewership.


Sample Tweet

LOVE (+.1%)

Sample Tweet


Read as: In Reality, for every 1% increase in hate, there is a .7% increase in viewership.

HATE (+.7%)

Sample Tweet

Crazy ( +.3%)

Sample Tweet

LOVE (+.2%)

Sample Tweet


Read as: In Drama, for every 1% increase in hate, there is a .7% increase in viewership.

HATE (+.7%)

Sample Tweet

Funny (+.3%)

Sample Tweet

Love (+.3%)

Sample Tweet

CRAZY ( +.2%)

Sample Tweet


The Canvs TV Viewership Study proves that Emotional Reactions expressed on social media can predict program tune-in. Canvs has leveraged the viewership study to create the Canvs Viewership Probability (or CVP), which uses a well-calibrated, statistically-derived percentage that viewership will go up or down for a reality, drama, or comedy TV show, available nearly one week in advance of next week’s airing.  To find out more, please complete the below form or watch this recent clip from Fox 5 NY. You can check out all relevant press hits to this study here or below.

Variety Data Science Proves We Love to Hate-Watch TV

AdWeek A Study of TV-Related Tweets Finds Hate More Than Love Drives Viewership

Multichannel News Study: 'Hate’ Drives Viewers to Return to Dramas

Broadcasting & Cable Study: 'Hate’ Drives Viewers to Return to Dramas

The Wrap Hate Drives TV Viewers to Return to Shows, New Study Finds

The Drum Canvs study ties emotional reactions in TV-related tweets to viewership changes 

Interested in learning more?

Reach out below for additional information.

Name *