Why Some TV Series Do Better On The Web

Internet TVNew statistics released by video search site SideReel reveal an interesting phenomenon – the shows that are most popular on TV aren’t necessarily the most popular on the Web. That’s right – just because a television show tops the Nielsen Ratings for broadcast doesn’t mean it will get a lot of views online. A comparison of Nielsen and SideReel rankings shows that hugely popular television shows like American Idol and Dancing With The Stars fall short in the online department, while less popular television shows like Gossip Girl jump to the top of the list in online views.

SideReel Nielsen StatisticsTake a look at the chart released earlier this week by SideReel and the vast discrepancy between SideReel Rankings and Nielsen Ratings is obvious. Gossip Girl, which is the most searched show on SideReel only ranks in at 125 when it comes to TV viewers. How I Met Your Mother jumps from 49 in Nielsen Ratings to the second most searched show on the video search site. One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries and 90210 also jump from 118, 110 and 120 respectively in Nielsen Ratings to the Top 10 on SideReel trends.

On the other side of the spectrum, American Idol is the number 1 show according to Nielsen Ratings and only clocks in at 50 on SideReel Rankings. Dancing With The Stars and NCIS: LA are also in the Top 10 on Nielsen and fall to 189 and 159 respectively on the Web.

There are several things that could account for this discrepancy between TV and online viewers. One of the most likely culprits is the age of viewers. Roman Arzhintar, CEO and co-founder of SideReel, says, “Online TV viewers are younger and more discriminating. They’re driving consumption away from the TV set to the computer.” You’ll notice that the highest ranking shows on SideReel are those targeted to an audience of teens and 20-somethings – Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, and 90210. On the other hand, shows like American Idol, NCIS: LA and Dancing With The Stars have much broader audiences made up of a larger portion of older viewers.

Ryan Lawler of NewTeeVee points out that shows like American Idol and Dancing With The Stars may be more popular on television than online because of their “live, competitive component.” These shows are exciting to watch live, but just aren’t as exciting to watch two or three days later, after you’ve already heard what happened from the rest of the world. Lawler points out that “shows like Gossip Girl generally tend to have a longer shelf life.”

Personally, I tend to watch all my series and sitcoms on the Web. It’s much easier to plan your day when you know that you can watch the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Gossip Girl whenever you get around to it. However, I do try to keep my nights free for exciting live shows like American Idol or Big Brother and I would never consider watching these shows online after the fact. It seems that my habits are indicative of SideReel’s statistics. How about you? Do you prefer to watch certain shows on television and others on the Web?

Image Credit: Mark Peter Davis

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Online Marketing

Online MarketingStarting November 4, learn how to launch a successful digital marketing campaign for your brand! In this course, you'll learn how to create an online marketing strategy, identify the appropriate distribution platforms, and use the web to successfully deliver your brand's message. Register now!