The competition is on between NBC’s The Voice and FOX’s The Xfactor. With these two (very similar) TV shows premiering during the same week, I couldn’t wait to compare both their Nielsen TV ratings as well as their social TV ratings (Bluefin Labs).
There’s a lot of talk as to whether or not the social media backchannel drives tune-in. And while there is increasing evidence that there’s some kind of correlation, it’s not (at least in this case) directly proportional to audience size.
On Wednesday, September 12th (shaded in gray on the above chart), the two shows aired at the same time. Pulling data from Bluefin Labs’ “Signals” shows that The Voicegenerated 80,000 social media mentions during its 1-hour broadcast and The Xfactor had 1.4 million (which, by the way broke the record for the #1 most social season premiere all-time previously held by Pretty Little Liars) over the course of its 2 hour premiere. Yet, using Nielsen data, The Voice had about 2 million more viewers tune in than The Xfactor.
Both shows heavily promote (and integrate) Twitter into their on-air programming. So the big question is why would one show (with less viewers) generate materially that much more comments on the backchannel.
And if you want more of a direct comparison, the two hour season premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 10th generated 202,000 social media mentions with 12.2 million viewers. That’s just under 4 million more viewers than The Xfactor season premiere (on Wednesday) and over 1 million less social media comments.
Diving deeper into Bluefin Labs’ data for both shows:
Each show follows a similar pattern of peaks and valleys but The Xfactor simply has more intensity of public social media comments throughout its broadcast. One thought? The two new judges on The Xfactor. Looking at the most popular terms it seems that Demi Lovato drove a lot of conversation. And of course there was Britney Spears. But what drove the biggest spike? Seeing Simon Cowell nearly cry for the first time.