ADI: ‘Social Buzz’ Dismal For Fall TV Lineup

A CMO Exclusive by Adobe Digital Index:


An analysis by Adobe Digital Index (ADI) has found that this fall’s network television lineup is failing to generate much “social buzz.” According to ADI principal analyst Tamara Gaffney, the reason is simple: Traditional TV broadcasters in the U.S. haven’t figured out how to create social interest for their new shows.

ADI reports that a whopping 75% of the new season’s TV shows average less than 100 mentions per day. In comparison, this summer’s most profitable movies drove more than 18,000 social mentions daily. Even unprofitable movies generated more than 10 times the amount of social buzz than has the new fall lineup.

“Most of the marketing for new broadcast television shows is based on TV spots on the same network the show is going to appear on,” Gaffney explained. “But, because TV watching habits have changed so dramatically, that’s not going to work anymore. There’s more binge viewing and much more digital viewing, which means that people are not seeing these network ads much anymore. The old-school way of marketing TV shows really needs a revamp. Simply put, it needs to be more digital than ever before.”

ADI’s analysis is based on more than 1 million social media mentions related to new fall TV shows captured by Adobe Social from blogs, Facebook, Google+, Reddit, Twitter, Dailymotion, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, VK, Disqus, Foursquare, Metacafe, WordPress, and YouTube.

Network broadcasters need to consider digital channels to build anticipation for their new shows, according to ADI. In fact, shows released via digital channels in advance of network premiers see tremendous growth in social buzz. For example, “A to Z” saw a 6X lift in social buzz and “Selfie” saw a 7X increase after these shows were released on Hulu.

According to ADI, despite the low numbers, there are some winners and losers. “Constantine” leads the way with social buzz. “Gotham,” “The Flash,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” and “NCIS: New Orleans” round out the top five shows this fall for social buzz; all have positive sentiment above 60%.

“Gotham” has the most international appeal, with 47% of geotagged buzz coming from locations outside of the United States. Unsurprisingly, the U.K. is driving the most international buzz.

“What we found is the few shows that have reasonable social buzz are riding on the coattails of Hollywood and its love affair with superhero movies,” Gaffney explained. “The first three of the top five movies, it turns out, are superhero-related.”

Beyond just following Hollywood’s lead in terms of genre, television marketers need to emulate the movie industry, which releases trailers to build anticipation for upcoming releases, and then distributes them via various digital channels and platforms, she added.

“Criminal Minds” is leading with social buzz for the top 20 rated returning shows this fall. “Big Bang Theory,” “CSI,” “NCIS,” and “Modern Family” round out the top five. All of the top five also have syndication for their reruns. Not present is “Two And A Half Men,” which is led by top social buzz actor Ashton Kutcher.

Mark Harmon has the highest percent of positive buzz across social media channels (58%), while Sofia Vergara had the highest percent of negative buzz (61%) following her Emmy’s appearance. In the “Big Bang Theory,” Jim Parsons drives barely more social buzz than the character he plays–Sheldon Cooper.

“For TV marketers, social buzz is something everyone can track,” Gaffney said. “If broadcasters are not doing everything they can to create buzz, and then tracking it for their shows and the marketing programs to promote their shows, they are missing out.”

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