Buzz, Viewers Diverge

Published on November 17, 2011
by Emily Steel

A new television show that generates a lot of online buzz before it airs won’t necessarily draw a host of viewers, according to a new study, which found little or no correlation between the amount of such buzz and the size of the audience that ultimately tunes in.

The study, by ad-buying firm Optimedia US, one of the first to examine the issue, raises questions about the effectiveness of social media as a promotional tool for TV.

It found that the top five new shows in terms of online buzz — Fox’s talent show “X-Factor,” the NBC drama “Playboy Club,” the Fox comedy “New Girl,” the NBC comedy “Whitney” and the ABC action show “Charlie’s Angels” — didn’t rank nearly as high in terms of viewership.

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