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American Idol Search Trends

360i
360i

The Customer Insights team at digital marketing agency 360i (http://blog.360i.com) researched Google search trends from past seasons of American Idol in order to predict the eventual Season 8 champion.

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Using Search to Predict the Winner of
American Idol Season 8:
Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen
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Hypothesis and Methodology                                                         (Place logo in slide
                                                                                         master)




Hypothesis: Search data can help predict the winner of American Idol
• By reviewing search data and trends from Google Insights for the top
  3 American Idol contestants, we are able to determine:
   • Search popularity: Who has the most search volume at a given time?
   • Regional searches: What are the top states searching for a contestant?
   • Related searches: What other terms (or contestants) are searches
     looking for?




                                     www.360i.com     Proprietary & Confidential                          2
American Idol Season 5 (2006):
Taylor Hicks vs. Katharine McPhee




                                    3
Hicks takes the lead in search a couple of weeks                                                                            Insert Logo Here
                                                                                                                           (Place logo in slide
                                                                                                                                 master)

before the finale and his eventual victory
        AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 SEARCH TRENDS FOR TOP 3 CONTESTANTS
                             (APRIL – MAY 2006)
 100
                                                           May 25th: Searches for Taylor
  90                                                       Hicks peak the day after he
                                                           claims the title
  80

  70
                                                                     Elliot says goodbye; Hicks
  60
                                                                     is the search leader
  50

  40         McPhee receives more
             searches than Hicks several
  30         weeks before the finale
  20

  10

   0
  4/5/2006      4/12/2006    4/19/2006      4/26/2006       5/3/2006          5/10/2006    5/17/2006      Season Finale    5/31/2006
                                                                                                           (5/24/2006)

                                      taylor hicks        katharine mcphee           elliott yamin


                            Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009
                                                              www.360i.com                    Proprietary & Confidential                          4
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Predicting Hicks over McPhee with search                                                        (Place logo in slide
                                                                                                      master)




• Taylor Hicks had more searches than Katharine McPhee leading up to
  the finale
• Elliott Yamin was generally not competitive in search with the 2
  finalists overtime. Elliot’s relatively small fan base (as determined
  by search) probably had a minimal effect on the final results
• Elliott’s top states (including his home state of Virginia) were
  dominated by searches for Taylor Hicks (blue) in March and April




                 Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009
                                                   www.360i.com    Proprietary & Confidential                          5
American Idol Season 6 (2007):
Jordin Sparks vs. Blake Lewis




                                 6

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American Idol Search Trends

  • 1. Insert Logo Here (align left side with first word in Title) you can delete this box on slide master Using Search to Predict the Winner of American Idol Season 8: Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen
  • 2. Insert Logo Here Hypothesis and Methodology (Place logo in slide master) Hypothesis: Search data can help predict the winner of American Idol • By reviewing search data and trends from Google Insights for the top 3 American Idol contestants, we are able to determine: • Search popularity: Who has the most search volume at a given time? • Regional searches: What are the top states searching for a contestant? • Related searches: What other terms (or contestants) are searches looking for? www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 2
  • 3. American Idol Season 5 (2006): Taylor Hicks vs. Katharine McPhee 3
  • 4. Hicks takes the lead in search a couple of weeks Insert Logo Here (Place logo in slide master) before the finale and his eventual victory AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 SEARCH TRENDS FOR TOP 3 CONTESTANTS (APRIL – MAY 2006) 100 May 25th: Searches for Taylor 90 Hicks peak the day after he claims the title 80 70 Elliot says goodbye; Hicks 60 is the search leader 50 40 McPhee receives more searches than Hicks several 30 weeks before the finale 20 10 0 4/5/2006 4/12/2006 4/19/2006 4/26/2006 5/3/2006 5/10/2006 5/17/2006 Season Finale 5/31/2006 (5/24/2006) taylor hicks katharine mcphee elliott yamin Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 4
  • 5. Insert Logo Here Predicting Hicks over McPhee with search (Place logo in slide master) • Taylor Hicks had more searches than Katharine McPhee leading up to the finale • Elliott Yamin was generally not competitive in search with the 2 finalists overtime. Elliot’s relatively small fan base (as determined by search) probably had a minimal effect on the final results • Elliott’s top states (including his home state of Virginia) were dominated by searches for Taylor Hicks (blue) in March and April Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 5
  • 6. American Idol Season 6 (2007): Jordin Sparks vs. Blake Lewis 6
  • 7. With 3 strong finalists competing to make the Insert Logo Here top 2, 3rd place Doolittle’s fans appear to vote (Place logo in slide master) for Season 6 winner, Sparks, in the finale AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 6 SEARCH TRENDS FOR TOP 3 CONTESTANTS (APRIL – MAY 2007) May 24th: Searches for “Jordin 100 Sparks” surge after her victory 90 80 But with top contender Doolittle out, who would her voters 70 support? Sparks and Lewis are 60 neck and neck in search 50 Blake Lewis appears to 40 be the early favorite… 30 20 10 0 4/4/2007 4/11/2007 4/18/2007 4/25/2007 5/2/2007 5/9/2007 5/16/2007 Season Finale 5/30/2007 (5/23/2007) jordin sparks blake lewis melinda doolittle Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 7
  • 8. Insert Logo Here Predicting Sparks over Blake with search (Place logo in slide master) • Unlike 3rd place finisher Elliot Yamin (Season 5), Melinda Doolittle was competitive in search with the top 2 finalists • Jordin Sparks (as well as 4th place contestant, Lakisha Jones) received more related searches to Melinda than Blake in the months leading up to the finale Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 8
  • 9. American Idol Season 7 (2008): David Cook vs. David Archuleta 9
  • 10. In the weeks leading up to the finale, season 7 Insert Logo Here winner, David Cook, is generally more popular (Place logo in slide master) in search than runner-up David Archuleta AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 7 SEARCH TRENDS FOR TOP 3 CONTESTANTS (APRIL – MAY 2008) 100 May 22nd: The day after Cook is declared 90 winner of the Davids 80 Searches for 3rd place Syesha Mercado never 70 compete with the top 2 60 50 40 With a week and a half to go, Archuleta surpasses 30 Cook but cannot hold on 20 10 0 4/2/2008 4/9/2008 4/16/2008 4/23/2008 4/30/2008 5/7/2008 5/14/2008 Season Finale 5/28/2008 (5/21/2008) david cook david archuleta syesha mercado Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 10
  • 11. Insert Logo Here Predicting Cook over Archuleta with search (Place logo in slide master) • 3rd place Syesha Mercado is not competitive in search with David Cook or David Archuleta • Syesha’s top states are large and are primarily searching for David Cook • Archuleta’s home state, Florida, leans to Cook Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 11
  • 12. American Idol Season 8 (2009): Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen 12
  • 13. Search trends suggest that Adam Lambert will Insert Logo Here (Place logo in slide master) be the next American Idol AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 8 SEARCH TRENDS FOR TOP 3 CONTESTANTS (APRIL – MAY 2009) 100 •Searches for Adam Lambert reached its highest after 90 he performed “Mad World” and received a standing ovation from Simon 80 •Search volume for Lambert has consistently been higher than top competitors 70 60 Finalist Kris Allen’s search Danny Gokey exits and sets volume has never reached up a Lambert vs. Allen 50 Adam Lambert’s levels finale 40 30 20 10 0 4/1/2009 4/8/2009 4/15/2009 4/22/2009 4/29/2009 5/6/2009 5/13/2009 adam lambert kris allen danny gokey Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 13
  • 14. Insert Logo Here Predicting Lambert over Allen with search (Place logo in slide master) • Adam Lambert has consistently been the leader in search against his main rival, Kris Allen • With the exception of Allen’s home state of Arkansas, Lambert dominates Kris Allen’s and Danny Gokey’s top states • Although Gokey’s search volume was not competitive with Lambert’s, regional interest for Gokey suggests his voters will support Lambert Source: 360i Analysis Google Insights; May 2009 www.360i.com Proprietary & Confidential 14