Author Archives: ldoherty2012

Social Media: Down To A Science

Ever wonder what shows and commercials are talked about the most on social media networks? What is really, really trending? Rentrak Corporation, a leader in multi-screen media measurement serving the advertising, television and entertainment industries, has measurement tools to see what shows are engaging the most viewers and what shows and commercials are “chatted” about most on social media. These two metrics, the “stickiness index” and the “social media index,” give us a unique outlook into the world of media and advertising, from the eyes, ears, and words of the viewer.


These metrics reflect what series are most popular each week based on viewer engagement (Stickiness Index) and commentary on social media networks (Social Media Index). As defined by Rentrak, the stickiness index is “calculated for the top 500 series based on rating according to Rentrak TV Essentials… of the top-20 primetime ad-supported series based on level of viewer engagement as determined by how much the average percentage viewed of the series varies from an average of all series of the same duration during Monday-Saturday primetime (8pm-11pm)” (Source: Rentrak Corporation).


The social media index, which combines Rentrak’s leading TV Essential system with Bluefin Labs social response analytics, “shows how television programing triggers reactions through social media which can affect audience visibility and engagement” (Source: Rentrak Corporation).

Founded in 2008, Bluefin Labs uses their research in cognitive science and machine learning at the MIT Media Lab to calculate this metric. There really is science behind the Bluefin social response analytics—they call it “mapping the TV genome,” which they define as “essentially a huge dataset that quantifies and organizes all social media conversations about TV” (Source:

So, what were top ten shows people were posting about during the week of February 11th-17th? Based on Rentrak Corporation here are the top ten based on social media index:

  1. 2013 NBA All-Star Game, TNT- 383,235
  2. NBA Basketball- 2013 NBA All-Star Saturday Night, TNT- 186,907
  3. State of the Union 2013- State of the Union (12 Networks), Special Event- 168,956
  4. NBA Basketball- Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder, TNT- 74,133
  5. The Walking DeadHome, AMC- 71,559
  6. Pretty Little LiarsWhat Becomes of the Broken-Hearted?, ABC Family- 58,766
  7. NBA Basketball- Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers, TNT- 35,328
  8. The Bachelor, ABC- 34,296
  9. College Basketball- multiple games, ESPN- 28,835
  10. NBA Basketball-All-Star Celebrity Game, ESPN- 27,726


This further shows us how TV viewing landscape has changed drastically and is no longer always a linear viewing. People are often looking at multiple screens with divided attention, giving us even more insight into how to target to our desired audience.

Source: Rentrak Corporation 2013


Fall TV Wrap-Up: An Eclectic Mix of Mid-Season Finales

As we get ready for the upcoming holidays and the New Year, hopefully everyone had a break to watch this year’s exciting mid-season finales. Whether you’re interested in the happenings of a post-apocalyptic world, 1920s Atlantic City gangsters during the Prohibition era, or the trials and tribulations of competing country stars, there was something for you to watch this December.

‘Boardwalk Empire’ Sunday 9pm, HBO

Boardwalk Empire, in its third season on HBO, is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1920’s and stars well-known actor Steve Buscemi as Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson. Nucky is the city’s treasurer during a time of change and turmoil, especially with the beginning of the prohibition and the ensuing gang wars.

The episode highlights Nucky’s change in temperament from peddler to calculating gangster, a plot point that has been mounting throughout the season. For the mid-season finale, Boardwalk Empire had 2.7 million viewers, a decrease from the 3 million who viewed the season 2 finale last December.

 ‘The Walking Dead’ Sunday 9pm, AMC 

Currently in its third season on AMC, the show is based on zombie drama in a post-apocalyptic world. In this action-packed episode, the human world and zombie world finally collide, ending in thrilling battle and warfare.

Most likely the best-performing mid-season finale, The Walking Dead had 10.5 million viewers for its episode on Sunday, making it Sunday’s top cable show. The ratings are up 58% from the season two mid-season finale. The majority of viewers were in the key 18-49 demographic. We are looking forward to the show’s return in February to catch up with all the zombie adventures.

‘Nashville’ Wednesday 10pm, ABC

Nashville, which premiered in October on ABC and is set in Nashville, Tennessee, stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) as dueling country singers. Britton plays older, fading country star Rayna Jaymes, while Panettiere plays her rival Juliette Barnes, the new, young country sensation.

In the mid-season finale, Rayna and Juliette decide it is mutually beneficial for them to team up and combine their musical talents co-headlining a tour together. Love lives also take center stage as Juliette unexpectedly proposes to her new boyfriend, Sean, while Rayna and husband Teddy (Eric Close) are burdened by his political scandals.

Although the show has received much critical acclaim and had 8.9 million viewers for their October debut, the ratings decreased to 6 million by week five.

In good news, Boardwalk Empire has already been renewed for a fourth season, and season four of The Walking Dead seems to be “unofficially” renewed by AMC. We hope Nashville can emphasize the actresses Panettiere and Britton to regain viewers and live up to their praise by critics. Media Works is looking forward to seeing the 2013 Spring premieres!