Brandwatch Spark: Live Virtual Summit | November 7-10, 2023

Join us at Spark, our free virtual marketing conference, where innovation isn’t just a buzzword ✨

Get your free ticket

Published October 23rd 2018

Consumer Trends in the Television Industry: Delighting and Frustrating Viewers

Everyone knows the television industry is going through changes, but how are these translating into consumer trends? Using research from our 2018 Social Outlook, here's our take on the television landscape.

It feels cliché to say that the television industry is going through rapid changes.

The ‘dinosaurs’ of broadcast media are now competing with disruptors like Amazon and Netflix.

When people want to make a complaint about a show or decision by a network or provider it’s easy for them to take it public.

The days of angry letter writing are passing (does anyone carry stamps anymore?) and competition is tougher than ever.

Our annual Social Ou

tlook takes a look at 13 different industries and the prevailing social trends within them. You can read about the other industries and get the methodology and context here:

In this blog post, we zoom in on the main consumer trends in the television industry.

Sentiment around the television industry

Television is one of the most positively discussed industries in our study.

It makes sense – if we don’t like a show, we simply don’t watch it. If we do like a show, maybe we’re more likely to discuss it online with fellow fans.

But when viewers aren’t treated to returning seasons of their favorite shows, things get nasty.

Cancelling a show is met with more backlash than it might have been before the social web. Now people are able to club together around an interest, discussing the characters and their favorite moments. Just check out the Game of Thrones subreddit if you want to see how intense these communities can get. So when a show gets cancelled, even if viewership is waning, you’re still going to piss of those loyal fans and their reaction is going to be loud.

Here’s what negative mentions looked like around the networks we studied, which included Discovery, The Food Network, Fox, Netflix, BBC One and Channel 4.

The cancellation of shows like Shadow Hunters and Lucifer got a significant amount of conversation, with viewers lobbying for them to return.

And there’s proof that these campaigns work – just look at what happened with Brooklyn 99.


Compared to the average person on Twitter, people discussing television tend to be female, in creative occupations, and have an interest in music (alongside television, of course).

This demographic will obviously change show-to-show, but it’s interesting to see that women are more vocal than men when it comes to television overall.

Delving deeper into audiences around specific TV shows can help unearth further nuances, especially using a tool like Brandwatch Audiences where new features include pulling out conversation topics that are especially prevalent within a particular group.

So what’s the future of television analysis on social media?

Shows that develop a large and loyal online following are likely to do well. Not only does this give networks incentive to keep the show going, but it helps generate more and more viewers exponentially.

In order to develop these followings, creating shows with social engagement in mind (think meme-ability, complex characters) is key. Getting to know the audience is also really important.

At NYK London, the BBC’s head of Social Analytics spoke about how the team monitored reactions to the hit show Killing Eve. She said that monitoring emotions around particular shows really bought their social analysis to life, and showed how strong emotional reactions showed how passionately people felt about the shows. Anger was a prominent emotion that came up when people watched Killing Eve, but that didn’t mean people were angry at the BBC – they were just responding very vividly to what was happening on screen.

Paying attention to emotional reactions and learning about and respecting audiences seems to be the most sensible way to approach TV analysis with social as we approach the new year.

Share this post
Brandwatch Bulletin

Offering up analysis and data on everything from the events of the day to the latest consumer trends. Subscribe to keep your finger on the world’s pulse.

Get the data
facets Created with Sketch.
facets-bottom Created with Sketch.
New: Consumer Research

Harness the power of digital consumer intelligence

Consumer Research gives you access to deep consumer insights from 100 million online sources and over 1.4 trillion posts.

Brandwatch image
Brandwatch image
Brandwatch image
Brandwatch image

Falcon.io is now part of Brandwatch.
You're in the right place!

Existing customer?Log in to access your existing Falcon products and data via the login menu on the top right of the page.New customer?You'll find the former Falcon products under 'Social Media Management' if you go to 'Our Suite' in the navigation.

Paladin is now Influence.
You're in the right place!

Brandwatch acquired Paladin in March 2022. It's now called Influence, which is part of Brandwatch's Social Media Management solution.Want to access your Paladin account?Use the login menu at the top right corner.