Ratings vs. Chatter

Which matters more- rankings or engagement?

Check out this article about Optimedia's new Content Power Ratings for television shows, or read this little diddy-
"Optimedia's "Content Power Ratings" combine viewing data from TV, online and mobile devices to measure audience engagement with specific TV shows. While Optimedia has compiled its rankings for two years previous to this one, this year's compilation is the first to include social-media data from Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Facebook fan pages to better track a particular show's "engagement.""
Basically, they are putting emphasis not on the number of viewers, but on the viewers themsleves- on the chatter, the loyalty, dare I say, the fervor of the fans.

Take for example, my favorite show in the universe- LOST. Is it number one in the rankings? No. It is number 34 actually. But it made it to number 2 on the Power Ratings list because of people like me and Matt that love it so much.

Or, think about another favorite of mine- One Tree Hill. Season after season, it is on the chopping block to get cancelled, and season after season, its crazed fans swoop in to save it. The make petitions, they send letters, they tweet about it, whatever it takes. It was/is in the same position this season, and rumor has it the CW is ordering another 12 episode season. Success. (Oddly enough, OTH is not even on this Rankings list, which I think is weird).

Check out the more from the Rankings list....

So, what do you think? Should programming be based on straight, traditional numbers ratings? Or should it be based more on a scale with these 'power ratings'? 

For a long time, people have said that numbers matter because more people watching = more people seeing ads = more companies buying ads = more money for the networks. I'm not so sure that equation matches up anymore.

It has started to matter more who is watching, not just how many there are. The 18-49 demo has become a gold mine for advertisers. If you are failing in that demographic, you are failing. Period.

Or (again) think of Lost. The ads for the finale are runnning for something like $900,000. Not bad for the #34 show on television, right?

The internet changed everything. Duh. People are more engaged in their television shows than ever. And I think that has to count for something....

Out with the traditional Nielsen Rankings, in with the Power Rankings!

Oh and PS: I hate American Idol. Do you have to be #1 in everything? Geez.

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