Can Stephen Colbert Compete With The Jimmys In Late-Night Social Media Wars?

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 6:39pm PDT

late-show-with-colbert-logo_In all today’s news about The Colbert Report host taking over as host of Late Show sits one question David Letterman never really tried to answer: How will Stephen Colbert use social media to lock in a young, eagerly sought TV audience that isn’t much interested in mainstream entertainment?

Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet

The social-media crews behind late-night competitors Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have been flooding online audiences with viral YouTube videos and nifty posts on Twitter and Facebook, each trying to grab audience attention that will translate to TV ratings. Now, the team behind The Colbert Report, itself a social-media power, will attempt to transition its audience to broadcast TV and Late Show. Deadline reached out to our pals at RelishMIX, who analyze social-media engagement for TV shows and films, for a quick look at who’s doing what right now on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The verdict? Colbert is already in good shape on Facebook and Twitter, if he can transition his fan base, but he has a lot of work to do on YouTube, where The Jimmys rule by a massive margin. ”With the Fallon/Kimmel battle on YouTube, we’ll see how Colbert builds his team to compete,” said RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen. “Is CBS betting that Colbert’s 13 million [social media] fans will move over with him? Stay tuned.”

Related: Moonves Takes A ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Victory Lap

Here are the breakdowns by platform of followers for all the late-night contenders, according to RelishMIX. Remember that RelishMIX measures not just the official feeds from each show but also those of each show’s stars and other principals and, importantly, the “superfans” on each platform who are not directly connected to the show but are busily sharing and posting in support of the core brand. It’s designed to capture all the social-media connections being made around a show, not just the official stuff.

Twitter

Colbert’s show is fourth overall here, even after ceremonially (and quite amusingly) blowing up his @ColbertReport Twitter feed last week. The stunt was a clever bit of social-media jujitsu, done live in the presence of a Twitter executive after some activists perceived a tweet from the show to be racially insensitive. Colbert will need to be even lighter on his feet with Twitter under the glare of broadcast TV attention. As it is, though, Colbert already is leading Kimmel’s show by 2 million followers, or a whopping 42 percent.

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Related: Stephen Colbert Reacts To ‘Late Show’ Hire

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Building To A Big Online Finale Too

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 7:00pm PDT

How I Met Your Mother, the slow-burn CBS comedy that turned into a somewhat unlikely hit before wrapping up tonight, also became a social-media power in recent years, setting up tonight’s finale episode as occasion for yet another online blizzard of goodbyes.

Related: ‘HIMYM’ Finale Outrun By Social Media

HIMYM Farewell Mosaic page screen cap

HIMYM Farewell Page

CBS has encouraged that sort of growth with a series of clever fan interactions, like sprinkling photographic clues on Facebook about the identity of the mother in last season’s run-up to her big reveal episode. Just after the episode ended, CBS posted a followup, with the hashtag #WeMetTheMother, that reached 13 million people on Facebook, according to the network.

Related: Cobie Smulders Talks ‘HIMYM’ On Letterman: Video

This year, ahead of the finale, the company launched a hashtag on its own website, #HIMYMFanFarewell. Fans were asked to post farewell messages to the show using that hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Vine and other platforms. Then the company aggregated a mosaic of those posts on a (sponsored) page on CBS.com. Check it out. It’s an interesting gimmick, and the car sponsorship that’ll pay for it all is a smart thing too.

Related: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Gains Ratings Momentum

The network also set up a “guestbook” page for last week’s wedding episode, so fans could RSVP for the wedding and leave their well-wishes for the couple. The network says it’s all paying off with better ratings this last season, up 3 to 4 percent in overall and younger demographics (it’s the network’s youngest-skewing show). And online streams of the show on CBS.com are up double digits this year, though the network didn’t specify by how much.

HIMYM 3seasons Social Media graphic

And this isn’t just the network bragging here. We checked in with our friends over at RelishMIX, an independent consulting firm that analyzes fan social-media engagement through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with TV shows and movies. In its last three seasons, HIMYM’s fan engagement online jumped nearly 85 percent across the Big Three social-media sites, according to RelishMIX.

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Study: Viewers Love Their TV Stars On Twitter Too

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Turns out people love their stars on Twitter almost as much as they love their stars on TV, according to a new study by companies with an intense interest in the results.

Just as importantly for the TV business, fans also like the brands that back the shows they tweet about, according to the study by Twitter, Fox and industry-backed group the Advertiser Research Foundation.

More generally, the TV-related tweets most likely to motivate a viewer to watch will come from an actor on the show or other cast member (40%). That’s well ahead even of tweets from the user’s friends and family (26%), the social-media source that conventional wisdom suggests would be most influential. Perhaps less surprising is the finding that tweets from a show’s official Twitter account motivate barely more than one in six users (just 18%). 

Twitter users and TV tweets graphicMore than 90% of those who see show-related tweets have at some point taken immediate action to watch, search for, or share content, the study says. The majority of those exposed to TV-related tweets immediately take action around the show, are highly likely to watch a show they’ve never watched before, or to resume watching a show that they’d previously stopped watching.

That finding would significantly bump up the importance of Twitter as a way to market and build audience for TV shows, presuming that the program’s stars are engaged in that effort. A few shows have been particularly effective in this regard, such as ABC’s Scandal, whose cast members routinely live tweet and respond to fans through Twitter as each week’s show plays.

Related: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Spring Finale Tuesday’s Top TV Show With Females 12-34 And Most Tweeted Show Of 2014 To Date

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The Shorty Awards Swing Onto Vine – The Best Shortest Films of the Year

By | Sunday March 23, 2014 @ 1:29pm PDT

Shorty Awards front pageThey may be called the Shorty Awards, but the honors for various online video, business, entertainment, journalism and social-media stars are getting a bit longer this year, with added categories for the best 6-second videos on Twitter’s Vine app and for the people who make them.

To get you ready to fill out the mock ballot for your pool at that big Shorty Awards watch party we just know you’re all doing, Deadline has taken a gander at all the nominated Vines, which is what they call the video posts on Vine. We also have links to the finalists for the category of best Vine creators.

At 6 seconds each, it took longer to load some of the finalist Vines than to watch them (even twice). Some have attracted hundreds of thousands of views, while others are for more refined (or, perhaps, more sharply restricted) tastes.

“Six-second savants have toiled in obscurity throughout history with no outlet for their talents,” said Greg Galant, the Shorty Awards cofounder and executive producer. “Everything changed for them last year when Vine launched.”

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Forget The Academy — ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Wins The Social Media Oscar In A Landslide

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 1:00pm PST

The Academy’s membership will reveal its Best Picture choice later today, but the social-media universe has already picked its Oscar favorite, and by a wide margin: The Wolf Of Wall Street. Social-media Oscar_badgemarketing and analytics company RelishMix looked at nearly 40 million data points — tweets, YouTube video reposts, Facebook shares and the like — focused on the nine Best Picture Oscar nominees and found Martin Scorsese’s three-hour ride with Leonardo DiCaprio down the darkest roads of Wall Street excess to be the clear online favorite.

RelishMIX-OscarNomLiftRelated: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever

Second place in this online race went to another entertaining romp through the dark side of late-20th century excess, David O. Russell’s American Hustle — which might say something very deep and complicated about the tastes of social-media users.

Related: OSCARS: ABC Unveils Nate Silver’s Oscar Number-Crunch Data: Video

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RelishMIX: Super Bowl Social Media – What Worked? What Didn’t? Changing The Thinking Of Marketing On All Social Media

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 10:09am PST

relishmixI’ve covered market research, test marketing, advertising, promotions, since the 1980s and every once in a while something comes along to warrant attention. In theSuper_Bowl_XLVIII_logo__140204013019 early 1990s, it was a little-known company known as Marketcast and a man named Joseph Helfgot who had launched an alternative to the all-powerful (and monopolistic) market research company, NRG. After I introduced Helfgot’s research methodology to Hollywood through a story about Orion Pictures, NRG’s head Joe Farrell called, furious at me. He also called my bosses to try to discredit my reporting. The problem wasn’t the story itself, but that we brought attention to an outsider encroaching on NRG’s territory. But I knew Helfgot was onto something: he was applying positioning studies long used on corporate brands … to movies. And, what’s more, he did it successfully — with Orion Pictures’ Dances With Wolves and The Silence Of the Lambs.

Orion, during those days, had the time to analyze data, take Marketcast’s information to help position and reposition both pictures launch and flourish (Both did well at the box office and won Best Picture Oscars). After an initial rough patch trying to get around the NRG/studio relationship barrier, Helfgot ended up earning the industry’s respect and changed the face of how Hollywood marketed its fare. Today, in the Internet Age, there is another new company that warrants attention: It’s called RelishMIX which is tracking all the major social media, mainly the Big Three — YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. (Click thru to see chart) Read More »

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Weather Channel Pushing Public Safety Image After DirecTV Blackout

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 10:08am PST

Weather Channel DirecTVWhen it rains, it pours. Hours after pulling its service from DirecTV following failed carriage talks with the satcaster, NBCUniversal-owned The Weather Channel announced a new initiative in its campaign to boost its status as a public utility. The company said it will start promoting new weather emergency Twitter hashtags #GotFuel, #NoFuel and #PowerLineDown established by the White House, FEMA, and the Department of Energy, adding to recent efforts to rebrand as a key resource for information in the event of natural disaster and weather emergencies. TWC says its promotion of said hashtags “will enable local citizens to report important emergency information” and thus aid “survivors, first responders, FEMA, DOE and utility companies” in the face of emergency. The timing isn’t coincidental. Read More »

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