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January 15, 2013

Golden Globes: The Power of Live TV


How do you pick between your three best friends? You don’t get to see one often, but they play favorites. The second is a friend who is newly popular. The third is loyal albeit a bit old fashioned.  This was the question posed to TV Viewers Sunday night when they had to choose between three major TV events; The Golden Globes, the premiere of HBO’s Girls and the second episode of PBS’s Downton Abbey. What would people watch, and more importantly, what would they talk about?

Well, it was clear who took home the award for Best Display of Social TV Sunday evening. With just about 1.7 Million tweets about the show, the Golden Globes pushed the other shows of the night swiftly off the stage. By comparison, Girls had about 79k tweets and Downton Abbey only 33k. The Globes boosted chatter for Girls, up from 6.6K tweets for June’s finale, but stole chatter from Downton Abbey, down from about 96k tweets last week.  Both shows saw spikes in Social TV chatter connected to Golden Globes they won and missed out taking home.

Why were the Globes so much more successful? There are a lot of reasons, but the fact that the Golden Globes is live event and there’s competition involved are the most likely causes. These reasons have contributed to vaulting awards shows (and sports) to some of the most talked about TV events. For most people, catching up on their favorite show with their DVR is much more acceptable than watching an awards show or sporting event after it’s happened. Time-shifted viewing removes the element of real time trash talking of saying why Downton Abbey was robbed of Best Drama. There’s something about watching live TV, well, LIVE.

The premiere of Girls spiked to 605 tweets per minute during the East Coast premiere and then quickly died down to anywhere from 140 to 400 Tweets per minute. While it didn’t keep up this pace the entire night, people kept talking about it into the early morning. This could be attributed to the premieres in different time zones, but what’s interesting is the fact that the chatter continued in the bottom half of each hour, possibly pointing out that people were catching up on the episode on their DVR after the Globes.

This wasn’t your average Golden Globes, either. There were some pretty big things happening Sunday Night. First and foremost, the show was hosted by two of the funniest women in comedy. Everyone, including yours truly, was waiting to see what they had in store after a few years of celebrity bashing by Ricky Gervais. A very popular former President (Clinton) joined the telecast to introduce a movie about another very popular President (Lincoln). Not surprisingly this was one of the most talked about events of the night at over 15k mentions per minute. Jodi Foster publicly came out and set Twitter ablaze. Jodi Foster was the 2nd highest keyword that didn’t include some variation of “Golden Globes” with over 74k mentions.

It’s hard to compete with popular live events such as The Golden Globes. Girls made their best effort to paint the social media universe with Girls related content the week leading up to the premiere, but still fell short of matching their 687 mentions per minute during last season’s finale. The best chance is to eventize your programming as appointment TV and help curate the conversation. The 3 most retweeted tweets from the Girls account were about the wins about Golden Globes, not the premiere. One thing was clear: Sunday night was all about the Golden Globes.


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HIP, social tv, television, Trends, Twitter

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