The Voice: Britain’s Got Talent’s Got A Rival!
Monitoring a week’s worth of social media mentions of Britain’s two biggest TV talent shows
The rivalry between the singing and variety acts on Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice is one of the main reasons why millions of viewers tune in to these Saturday night talent shows.
However, the ratings war between the two programmes is threatening to overshadow the action on screen; a real case of a sub-plot becoming the main plot.
Judging by the viewing figures it seems that we love to see the efforts of Tom Jones, Jessie James, David Walliams and Amanda Holden as they try to unearth star quality.
And considerable effort is being expended on quantifying public reaction regarding the merits of the two rival shows. It is information which advertisers love to have at their fingertips and thanks to sophisticated social media monitoring tools like Brandwatch, it is very simple to gather.
Guest author, Susan, used this handy tool to track the mentions of the two programmes across social media channels during the week April 10th to April 17th.
The word cloud above helps to sift through the babble of internet buzz to identify which phrases keep on cropping up on blog threads, social networking message boards, tweets and other corners of the worldwide web.
‘April 21st’ is the most common phrase – this is the next date when the two programmes would air; a clash which is seen as ‘D-day’ for BGT as it tried to regain a lead in the ratings.
At the foot of the word cloud is ‘Irritable Congratulations Syndrome’ – a reference to Simon Cowell tweeting “a slightly irritated congrats to the BBC” on Sunday night after it emerged that The Voice had pulled in more viewers than BGT.
Many people are following Cowell’s lead and tweeting their thoughts about the two programmes on Twitter. As you can see in the Brandwatch graphic above, Twitter is the individual site with the most mentions of the two programmes – easily beating second-placed Facebook.
However, the next graphic shows that news channels (when combined together) account for more mentions than Twitter. If news websites are mentioning the talent shows more than Twitter is it rather suggests that journalists are rather more interested in the subject than the public is; a case of news outlets trying to create interest in a topic rather than reacting to overwhelming public demand.
The graph above shows that the number of mentions about the two shows peaked not on April 14th (transmission date) but on April 16th (when information about the ratings figures became public knowledge).
Maybe we are more interested in seeing if the rating can burst Simon Cowell’s bubble rather than which contestant has impressed the judges.
One last thought: is Simon Cowell really distressed about The Voice muscling in on Britain’s Got Talent’s territory?
One suspects not; there have been signs that Cowell was tiring of BGT just as much as the public was – once you’ve seen one dancing dog you feel like you’ve seen them all.
Having a rival to Britain’s Got Talent has, perversely, seemed to reawaken interest in BGT. As 1960s pop group managers used to say: ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
The Voice, regardless of viewing figures, seems unlikely to end Cowell’s long run in the spotlight any time soon.
Those dancing dogs that dream of stardom can sleep safely in their kennels for a little longer.