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Latest Canvs Study Proves Audience Emotions Predict Live TV Viewership

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‘This Is Us’ Saw a 10% Increase In Live Tune-In Following a Strong Week of Emotional Reactions (ERs) Driven by Talent

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and emotion measurement leader Canvs has announced a joint study on how the television show audience Emotional Reactions (ERs) impact the following week’s live airing viewership. The study on Audience Emotions — Reacting to Actors, Characters, and Programs: Social TV Content and Television Viewing Behavior — found that certain viewer ERs in response to talent can predict an increase in live tune-in the following episode.

via Canvs Audience Emotions Report
via Canvs Audience Emotions Report
David Schweidel, professor of marketing, Georgetown McDonough
David Schweidel, Professor of Marketing, Georgetown McDonough

The study on Audience Emotions was led by David Schweidel, professor of marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, who will be incorporating the Canvs emotion measurement dashboard into his course, “Leveraging Social Media.”

Georgetown McDonough is the first partner in Canvs’ new Academic Partnership Program, which launched in fall 2017, and focuses on building strategic partnerships between the Audience Emotions measurement experts at Canvs and key marketing research and psychology professors at key top-tier universities.

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Schweidel added, “Talent not only drives emotion but also live viewer tune-in week over week. Further, there is a sustained effect of talent-driven ERs increasing live and time-shifted viewership over multiple weeks.”

With appointment viewing on the decline, it’s more important than ever for networks to understand what is driving live viewing. The study looked at 621 episodes across 55 primetime scripted programs across broadcast networks (ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, The CW) and spanning genres (Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy). All programs aired Q1 2017 (January – March).

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Key Findings from the Canvs Report on Audience Emotions

– Show-specific ERs have a positive impact on live viewing.

– Talent-related ERs had twice the impact as general emotional reactions, but much less common.

– In one example, NBC’s This Is Us enjoyed more than a 10 percent increase in live viewers from episode 17 to 18 thanks to a spike in total ERs driven by talent.

– Furthermore, there is a sustained effect over multiple weeks, with talent-driven ERs increasing live and time-shifted viewership over the following three to four weeks.

Jared Feldman, CEO, Canvs
Jared Feldman, CEO, Canvs

Jared Feldman, CEO at Canvs, said, “This study proves emotions not only drive increased live viewership week over week but also improve the number of time-shifted viewers in the first three days after a show airing. With OTT and subscription services on the rise, there are a strong indication audience’s Emotional Reactions will align with subscription retention as well.”

Canvs was founded in 2014 to help media companies inform their TV programming results from reactions on Twitter. Today, with API access to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and with their own API, Canvs is empowering media companies, technology platforms, brands, and agencies to decode the troves of social banter across platforms.

Currently, Canvs is the industry standard for measuring emotion. The company uses patented semantic analysis technology to understand how people feel, why they feel that way, and the business impact created for the brands, agencies, and media companies.

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