- Participant Media/pivot: “the power of a story well told can change the world.” Success isn’t only about ratings, but the impact that programming has on society. “New heroes” are part of the millennial generation – people who are taking action to make an impact.
- AMC Networks: success changes across networks. For a network like IFC, most viewing is from DVR. For WE tv, Braxton Family Values is the top show in its time slot among African-Americans. For shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, the social prevalence can be a measure of success.
- Nielsen: TV lives and dies by Nielsen ratings in many cases, but there is more to the picture. Smaller networks may not have the ratings, but may be creating a huge emotional response with viewers, so the value of the brand plays a big role. It’s important to understand why people are passionate about what they watch - lifting the hood on consumers and using research to dig well beyond basic demographics.
- Leichtman: the best predictor of the future is the past. It’s important to look beyond the numbers of a quant study and analyze trends – tracking the industry can be the best way to truly measure success.
Measuring success gets more challenging as new platforms emerge. Netflix’s original programming earns critical accolades, but how can we measure success when we can’t look at ratings the same way we can with traditional TV?
Social media is also changing the conversation, as it’s no longer clear what’s more valuable – ratings or volume of social chatter? This poses a big question for advertisers – where should they be looking?
For a network like pivot where social action is important, social media is key. It’s important to see not only that people are posting, but understand what they are posting and whether that translates into the social action that pivot is looking for.
Tom Ziangas notes that it’s a great time to be in research, where the mix between quantitative and qualitative can help to round out the picture.
Marc Berman mentions the importance of research when it comes to understanding the industry – “if you want to be involved in media, start out in research.”
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