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Trevor Noah Future of TV Union Metrics

The biggest social TV busts from the past week: Trump's $5 million charity request of CNN gains limited buzz


By Natan Edelsburg, SVP

December 7, 2015 | 6 min read

The TV industry has historically championed good TV ratings and used low ones to cancel and criticize shows. Social ratings however have rarely been about the bad. The media usually recognizes what goes viral on the web, but without standardized metrics it's hard to identify what didn't get big that was supposed to. Found Remote is taking on this challenge in a new weekly column with Union Metrics, a multi-channel social analytics platform that has access to the entire Twitter archive.

This past week a number of big TV events including the release of a new Game of Thrones trailer, an NBC live musical and more. Two of the biggest TV events from the past week that didn't gain as much buzz as expected were Trump's attempt to get $5 million of charity from CNN and Trevor Noah's cancelation of a Chris Brown appearance.

Here's the full report from Union Metrics and their cofounder editor-in-chief Jenn Deering Davis.

December 4, 2015: Last week's biggest TV news:

  • Donald Trump demanded that CNN pay a hefty $5 million to charity or he would boycott the network's December Republican Presidential debate. CNN rejected Trump's demand, with President Jeff Zucker stating that the network does not and will not pay candidates to appear.
  • At the last minute, the Daily Show canceled a scheduled appearance from Chris Brown, leading some to speculate that host Trevor Noah wasn't up to the task of handing a controversial guest like Brown and highlighting tough issues like domestic violence.
  • My Tales of Whisky released a yule log video starring Nick Offerman, who sits quietly drinking Lagavulin whiskey in front of a crackling fire for 45 minutes. It was one of last week's smartest holiday campaigns and has already been viewed more than 1.2 million times on YouTube.
  • HBO released a new Game of Thrones season 6 teaser trailer that got many fans theorizing a major character - and fan favorite - might still be alive, even though all signs pointed to his (or her, no spoilers here!) demise at the end of last season.
  • NBC aired The Wiz Live!, making it the third annual live musical they show on their network around the holidays (they previously did the Sound of Music and Peter Pan, with varying levels of success). The Wiz earned 11.5 million viewers on Thursday night, beating Peter Pan but not matching Sound of Music viewership numbers.

Twitter's reaction to the news:

  • We've got good news for NBC - The Wiz generated a ton of conversation on Twitter, earning 1.6 million tweets on Thursday and dwarfing Twitter volumes for its two previous live Broadway shows. The Wiz saw 3x more tweets the day it aired than the previous year's Peter Pan broadcast (which earned 50% more than the Sound of Music broadcast).
  • Not surprisingly, the Game of Thrones trailer sparked heated debates across Twitter, earning nearly 40k tweets on the day it was released. This is typical for GOT, a social powerhouse.
  • The Nick Offerman video earned about 10k tweets in just two days, making it one of the more successful holiday advertising campaigns we've seen so far this season. Considering it's 45 minutes of nothing more than a fireplace and a man silently sipping whiskey, that's pretty high social engagement.
  • So the biggest bust this week is a tie between Donald Trump/CNN and the Daily Show/Chris Brown. For months, Trump has generated millions of posts on Twitter, from both supporters and detractors. But this week's stunt hardly registered on the Twitter radar; the whole controversy only generated about 6k tweets. It really looks like CNN's audience just doesn't really care about Donald Trump (probably leading to sighs of relief across the country).
  • And the Daily Show cancelation of Chris Brown's appearance seems to be an non-issue. It also generated about 6k tweets this week. This seems like a missed opportunity for the Daily Show to bring Brown on, fan the flames of controversy, and use it as a platform to address some of the issues around domestic violence and celebrity. Most likely, his appearance would have most likely generated a lot more buzz on Twitter than the cancelation.

Started with the goal of bringing clarity to social marketers, Union Metrics has been delivering social media answers to brands and marketers since the company launched TweetReach in 2009. Today, Union Metrics’ powerful 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 better and impactful campaigns across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Union Metrics is based in San Francisco and has an office in Austin, Texas. Visit Union Metrics at and @unionmetrics to learn more.

Jenn Deering Davis is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Union Metrics, the company behind TweetReach and several other social media analytics products. Union Metrics makes social media analytics applications, including TweetReach, Union Metrics for Tumblr and Union Metrics for Instagram. Her main responsibilities are ensuring a consistent and excellent customer experience, managing Union Metrics communications and product messaging, with some data wrangling and research thrown in. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication and Technology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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