DO YOU WATCH ANY OF THESE? 10 TV shows that do best with social media
Comedy Central’s “South Park” only ranked No. 238 among shows that viewers 18 and over watched on television last year, but it was No. 5 when taking into account the way viewers interacted with the raucous animated comedy across social media.
This is one of the findings in the media buying firm Optimedia’s PUBGY FR:PUB +1.09%latest Content Power Ratings study, which ranks shows in a combined measurement that includes television, computers, smart phones, and tablets.
The top 10 shows for 2011, according to the Content Power Ratings, were:
1. “American Idol” (Fox)
2. “Glee” (Fox)
3. “Dancing With The Stars” (ABC)
4. “The X Factor” (Fox)
5. “South Park” (Comedy Central)
6. “Two and A Half Men” (CBS)
7. “Family Guy” (Fox)
8. “Jersey Shore” (MTV)
9. “NCIS” (CBS)
10. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
(Fox is a unit of News Corp. NWSA NWS , which also owns MarketWatch, the publisher of this report. ABC is owned by Walt Disney Co. DIS. MTV and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom VIA VIA . The CBS Television Network is a unit of CBS Corp. CBS .)
- South Park Studios
There was often quite a contrast between a show’s Content Power ranking and where it was rated by Nielsen. “Glee” was 74th in the Nielsen tally, while “Family Guy” came in at No. 102. “Jersey Shore” was 191st.
Optimedia has conducted the study since 2008. Certain patterns have emerged, said Greg Kahn, the company’s executive vice president and business development director. One is that competition-based reality shows with some sort of viewer-voting component tend to work organically in the social media world, as people who are already voting over the Internet naturally segue to tweets and Facebook comments about the program. Of course, various personalities stand out on such shows, leading to intense feelings of affection or dislike among viewers.
“Comedy also lends itself very well to social media engagement,” Kahn said, “with the viral [video] impact that can take place around it.”
Shows with crime or mystery elements also do very well, as viewers can speculate during the show about emerging clues, suspects and other aspects of the drama, and comment after the program about what worked and what didn’t.
Programs across all genres can work, as long as enough thought is given to the ways viewers can become involved which the show’s characters and situations, and the social media presence doesn’t merely feel “added on,” Kahn said.
The most successful shows tended to offer strong social media hubs for the program at a network site or show-specific hubs, along with extensive Facebook FB +2.03% pages and Twitter engagement. “Glee’s” characters each have their own Twitter feeds, for instance.
For advertisers who are chasing these users, it’s important to set up national media campaigns that take into account online video, as well as anything “that extends a brand beyond the television viewing occasion.”
“A big part of the negotiation now,” said Kahn, “is about how do we extend television campaigns so that they live in social media and online video? That’s something [ad agencies and programmers] are trying to figure out together.”
Because it is still members of Generation Y, or the Millenials, who are most likely to spend a lot of time with social media, programmers and advertisers are constantly seeking ways to broaden that demographic profile. “It is widening, but because Gen Y grew up with the technology, they’re still the primary users,” Kahn said.
Every network has developed or is setting up a social/digital content division that can exploit viewer interest in newer platforms. During this year’s “upfront” presentations to advertisers, during which about 70% of available ad time is sold in advance for the fall TV season, each of the networks has touted its social media bonafides. ABC, DIS and The CW, TWX and CBS offered advertisers cross-platform buys of TV and digital ads at one rate, while NBC Universal CMCSA had a separate digital upfront for its cable and broadcast networks.
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