As election season continues to heat up - TV has been dominated by debates and controversies. The biggest bust however from the past week goes to Jeapordy whose video where no one won, didn't go quite as viral as the media reported. Here are the full insights from Union Metrics' Jenn Deering Davis.
Last week's biggest TV news:
- Since the start of this column, there have been several Republican presidential debates. It only seems fair to check in with the Democrats, who participated in their first debate of 2016 on Sunday, January 17. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley came together in Charleston, SC, for the debate that aired on NBC News and YouTube.
- And speaking of politics, it seems like we can't go a week without talking about the Republican presidential candidates (usually Donald Trump). Last week was no exception. Last week, much to the delight of TV comedy writers everywhere, former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin officially and publicly endorsed current presidential candidate Donald Trump.
- Last week, allegations resurfaced that Amy Schumer has stolen jokes from several other comedians. There was a lot of back and forth on Twitter between some of these comedians, including Tammy Pescatelli. Schumer categorically denied any theft.
- During last Monday's episode of Jeopardy, all three contestants bet it all and lost in the final round. All three contestants failed to answer the final question correctly, dropping their scores to $0. That means no winner, which is pretty unusual.
- And for our final TV news story, we turn to the Academy Awards. After the Oscar nominees were announced, a number of people took the Academy to task for failing to nominate any people of color. All 20 of the acting nominees are white, and no films highlighting black issues are represented. Several actors have publicly denounced the show, calling for an Oscars boycott.
Twitter's reaction to the news:
- The debate generated just over 1.0 million tweets on Sunday. That's a little less than the previous week's GOP debate, which we deemed the biggest bust at the time, since it was so much lower than past GOP debates. Some complained the Democratic debate was poorly publicized and aired on a Sunday evening, when many viewers weren't around to watch. Regardless, this debate generated more tweets than the previous two in November and December, which came in around 800k each.
- What did Twitter think of power couple Sarah Palin and Donald Trump? Well, there were about 600,000 tweets about the pair last week. For comparison, Trump received about 1.8 million total tweets last week, which is up from his typical 1.1 - 1.2 million weekly tweets. Palin absolutely gave him a boost on Twitter. Whether that boost will turn out to be good or bad, we'll just have to see, but there certainly was more conversation about Donald Trump than normal last week.
- There were more than 115,000 tweets about Amy Schumer last week, many of them about the controversy. In a typical day, Schumer generates 7-10k tweets. During the height of the conversation last week, she was seeing 15-25k daily tweets.
- Numerous news outlets reported the Jeopardy loss as a "viral hit", posting links to the video on YouTube and gleefully discussing how often it was shared. There were about 5k tweets about it last week. Does five thousand tweets count as a viral hit? Not really. A normal day for Jeopardy on Twitter earns them about 3k tweets. During the so-called "viral" period of this video last week, tweet volumes increased to 6-7k per day, for two days.
- Finally, there were 1 million tweets about the Oscars last week. At least 550k of those tweets were identifiably about the boycott, making up more than a half of the Oscars-related conversation on Twitter. We're just under five weeks out from the show, and conversation volumes on Twitter are much, much higher than last year at this time (by a factor of 10). This issue deserves a much longer and more thoughtful post, so suffice it to say the controversy is causing quite the buzz on social media and it's worth paying attention to.
- So, what was last week's biggest bust? That award goes to Jeopardy's not-so-viral video. This clip just didn't go viral. In comparison, the show saw a number of legitimately viral clips and moments last year, reaching 30-40k tweets in a day. Jeopardy does still have its viral hits, but this wasn't one of them.
Jenn Deering Davis is Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco-based social analytics company Union Metrics. She has 15 years of industry and academic experience in organizational communications, social media and research, spending her career turning turning data into effective stories and helping stakeholders more easily understand new technologies. Union Metrics has been delivering social media answers to brands and marketers since the company launched TweetReach in 2009. Today, Union Metrics’ multi-channel social analytics are used by thousands of digital marketers at the world’s most innovative brands to optimize social media strategies and create impactful campaigns across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Visit Union Metrics at unionmetrics.com and @unionmetrics to learn more.