What viewing statistic is most important?

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In today’s viewing world what is the measuring stick for popularity? Is it TV audience viewing statistics? Youtube views? Social Media engagement? Streams? Downloads? Number of saves on to a DVR? Or is it a combination of some or all?


I think it is much easier in today’s world, for media companies to camouflage poor performing programmes by using different statistics to the old fashioned TV audience statistics or by using a combination of statistics.

If you ask most companies that produce programmes the figure that will be most important internally is the TV audience figure, as that is what can make them the most money, if those figures are high they can sell their programme for a higher value to a TV station, without it they have little chance of making good money.


When companies find ways to make putting content on Youtube more profitable and ways to make more money out of social media engagement then these will be very important areas to grow but I don’t think we are quite there yet.

TV production companies want to make the most money they can per viewer to their programming so this is where Youtube and Social Media can help in an indirect way. By boasting big numbers in these areas, they can use these to help in negotiations with TV companies to squeeze more revenue from the channels and networks.


Nowadays programmes are licensed to the big providers like Netflix and Amazon on a revenue per stream deal, so if no one watches your programme you don’t make anything. This is why I love the streaming market as although the revenue per stream should possibly be higher at least then a programme gets a fair revenue based on its viewership. Some TV stations have been stung in the past by paying big bucks from programming, for it to not to deliver the numbers that they expected for their outlay.

The problem with media is that in a lot of instances you have to speculate to accumulate and although you can have great research to back up a theory on why a programme is going to be successful, until the numbers are in you can’t take anything for granted. Thankfully all sides of the media have to do this from the Production Companies that fund programme creation to the channels that acquire it.

There are a lot of shows on TV but few runaway successes and I think everyone in the media game has to remember that.

Christmas TV

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I remember as a child getting excited in the run up to Christmas, when the TV listing magazines would come out with the Christmas TV schedules. I would put a ring around the programmes and films I wanted to watch, then I would refer to it everyday to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

I still do the same today as an adult but now instead of planning what to watch, I will put a ring around what I want to record and then set all the programmes I want to watch to record on my Sky Box, knowing that for most of them, I probably won’t get round to watching them until January.


Going in to the Christmas period I have had to do a cull on my Sky Box of all the things I will never watch again or get round to watching, so I have space for the Christmas period viewing. Over Christmas I will probably spend time catching up with the 44% worth of programming that made the cut and that is currently clogging up my Sky Box before I get to what is recorded over Christmas.

On top of this I have super long watch lists on streaming services like Netflix that I usually like to catch up with over Christmas. Christmas is a time of year where every provider of programming is after your attention and although I have lots of time off over Christmas it is a time of year where my viewing pile normally goes up and not down.

A time to binge

For many, Christmas is a time to binge on food and drink but I think now it is becoming a season to binge on media and it is a time where I will do most of my so called “binge viewing”, where I will try and catch up with some series that I have missed this year. That’s the great thing about having a long holiday, you can afford to give a day away to watch a series from start to finish, unlike weekends when time seems to be a bit more precious and life a bit busier.

Everyone has their Christmas traditions and their favourite Christmas specials that make the season for them. I think this is an important way media plays a part in Christmas festivities for families as it helps create memories and things to look forward to.

I hope everyone enjoys their festive favourites this year.