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Streaming tune-in: Instant audience feedback from social listening

Streaming tune-in: Instant audience feedback from social listening

Streaming is becoming the way to watch. Staying ahead of the competition by producing quality content will be essential. To do that, these new streaming services need instant audience feedback. Enter social listening.

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Real-time audience feedback

Apple TV+. NBCUniversal. HBO Max. 2020 will see a huge increase in streaming services available to consumers. Subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) is expected to reach 45.2% penetration in the US by 2022.

But with all those new TV shows and movies available to watch, how will these new streaming companies define which are the shows people love, and which are the ones that turns their audience off.

Instant audience feedback Netflix mentions

The shape of Netflix. Mentioned 114M times in the last 13 months

Social media is the new watercooler

TV streaming has changed consumer watching habits. People no longer watch shows at the same time. Meaning there are fewer watercooler moments - when people gather together to chat about a program they’d seen the night before.

Now, people have more freedom in their viewing habits. They can watch when they want. Even binging an entire series in one evening. There’s no alignment, so people chat less about shows face-to-face.

People turn to social media. Groups, forums, blogs all give people a chance to rate or rant about the show they just watched. If you want to know what people are saying about a TV show, this is where it will happen.

Social media listening

Audience listening is essential. Giving brands an almost instant audience response system. Social listening tools gather together conversational data from news sites, forums and social media platforms, to provide a real-time review of any show. Giving these streaming brands valuable insights into their shows.

Here’s some of the instant feedback you can gain for your brand. (Caution: potential spoilers).

Sentiment analysis

Stranger Things was the most streamed show in July 2019. But how did fans react to it?

The third season was launched on Netflix on July 4, causing a spike of 805K mentions for that day (1108% increase since July 1).

For the first two weeks after the launch, the sentiment fluctuates. Peeking from 51.7% positive to 27.3% negative. Though we need to dig deeper to understand why.

Instant audience feedback Stranger Things sentiment

The changing sentiment of Stranger Things for the two weeks after the season 3 launch.

The show is primarily horror, so much of the negative sentiment is due to people expressing fear. Then there’s conversations around:

  • Steve being underrated as a character
  • Criticism about Winona Ryder only being recognized for her work in the show and not previous works
  • The shocking death of a certain character
  • Plus other general watercooler chat

But it was one of the lead characters, Jim Hopper, that distressed many fans. With his anger management issues generating negative conversations regarding the toxic masculinity of his character.

Not that this is a negative for a show. But the impact of characters like this should be considered, especially if there’s enough chatter about it. There were 23.6K engagements around Stranger Things conversations that included the word jealousy. So many that Evan Rachel Wood needed to tweet about it.

This one tweet received 9.5K engagement, highlighting the issues faced when dealing with toxic characters

Competitor intelligence

With so much content flying around, there’s sure to be some similar shows produced. And instant audience feedback can help you compare the success of each.

By using competitor analysis, you can see how each show is punching, and how your fan bases compare. Look at Amazon’s The Boys, DC Universe’s Doom Patrol and Netflix’s Umbrella Academy.

Instant audience feedback Hero sentiment and mentions

3 shows. Similar sentiment. Different levels of conversation

Although the shows drive similar sentiment, Umbrella Academy drove significantly more conversations. It was released on the same day as Doom Patrol, spiking with 434.5K mentions, while Doom Patrol’s spike barely hit 27.1K.

The difference was certainly the release method. Netflix released Umbrella Academy globally, while Doom Patrol, was only available on DC Universe, which is exclusive to the US. That lesson has been learnt, Doom Patrol’s second season will also be available on HBO Max.

Instant audience feedback Hero demographics

Umbrella Academy stands out for attracting a more female audience

Another reason for Umbrella Academy’s success was its broader audience appeal. The demographic split for conversations around it was 56.5% female, compared to the other two shows, which were 62.5% (The Boys) and 65.2% (Doom Patrol) male. Having a broader range of characters helps more people connect with the show, and grows your fanbase.

Product development

Sometimes, shows have to end. And opportunities arise for networks to give those shows a new lease of life. Original streaming shows have a lifespan of just 2 seasons, meaning new content has to work hard to quickly build a fanbase.

While content licensed from elsewhere already have that fanbase built.

These fanbases are often very vocal when their favorite show is cancelled. And it’s this vocallity that you can use to identify which shows are worth saving, and which aren’t.

We’ve looked previously into the virality of how Lucifer was picked up by Netflix after it was cancelled by Fox. With 10M mentions of #SaveLucifer or PickUpLucifer, it was clear the fanbase was keen for more. Netflix listened, and commissioned a fourth season, becoming the most binged series of all time.

This, and the ensuing chatter on social, led to another series being commissioned.

Integrating audience feedback for complete audience listening

That’s just the start of what you can achieve through social listening. To give you an instant overview of your audiences perceptions of a show, as they watch it.

Could you take it further?


Imagine combining that social analysis with other data from your company. You could add polls, consumer data, audience numbers, and more, to create a comprehensive picture of your consumer and their viewing habits.

The opportunities would be endless. Now that would be pretty cool…

To begin with social media listening, download our first five steps for social media monitoring below.

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