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A look at social TV activity during the 2011-2012 television season.
Top TV Series
FOX clearly leads the way for social TV when it comes to broadcast series, owning the top three spots for average number of social media comments per new episode. The much-beloved musical series “Glee” ranks first with almost 200,000 comments per episode. Those gleeks sure love to talk in social media!
In the cable world, it should be no surprise that “Pretty Little Liars” is at the top -- Twitter even ranked it at number 1 in their 2011 Year in Review for shows that fans just can’t stop talking about. ABC Family has been working hard on social TV strategy, and it seems to be paying off.
For primetime broadcast series, FOX snags number 1 with 16.8 million comments during the season. But when you add in sports and special events, the data reveals that CBS leads in social media conversation with 44.2 million comments. Given that the Grammys, NFL Football, and NCAA March Madness all aired on CBS, this increase in social chatter makes sense.
We witness the same effect with cable -- looking at TV series only, MTV wins first place by over 2 million social media comments. But add in comments about sports and special events, and TNT (with college basketball and the NBA) and ESPN jump to the top.
Setting Social TV Records
In addition to their overall success in social TV, FOX and CBS also set two big records this season.
Clocking in at 1.4 million social media comments, FOX’s series finale of “American Idol” made history as the most commented-on series episode ever.
For the 2011-12 TV season overall, CBS wins the award for the most social media comments with the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, which garnered 13 million social media posts.
It’s not just special events causing a flood of comments: compared to last year, we saw huge growth in the volume of comments about TV series season finales.
Annual Growth Rates for Social Media Comments for Season Finales (2011-12)
The Vampire Diaries (CW) – 1,228%
Parks and Recreation (NBC) – 1,130%
Desperate Housewives (ABC) – 1,023%
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – 800%
The Simpsons (FOX) – 1,739%
Bottom line: Social TV has grown significantly in the past year as more viewers flock to social media to discuss their favorite shows and TV events. Just a year ago an on-screen hashtag was rare. Now shows are integrating social strategy from the beginning stages, and what results is a fascinating feedback loop between viewer and content creator that keeps people talking.
The ability for Big Data to monitor social TV activity provides key insights for networks that traditional ratings fail to address. When people share, comment and discuss TV online, programmers are able to see what content “pops” the most on Facebook and Twitter. Expect even more soci