The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards air live on NBC tonight, in a star-studded event that honors the greatest television achievements of the past year. SNL’s Colin Jost and Michael Che are set to co-host and millions of viewers are expected to tune in to see which shows and stars will walk away with a coveted Emmy.
But the reach of the top shows nominated for an Emmy award extend far beyond our TV screens (or other viewing device of choice). In the ‘Outstanding Comedy Series’ and ‘Outstanding Drama Series’ categories, all of the nominated shows have an official presence on Facebook or YouTube that provide a community that audiences can feel a part of.
Using Tubular data, we took a look at the official social video properties of the top nominated series in those categories, and how digital content around those shows is performing online. Surprisingly, while all shows had some visibility on YouTube, most of the broadcasters have thrown their weight behind Facebook, dedicating specific destination pages for the 7 series nominated in the Best Drama category, and the 8 series nominated in the Best Comedy category.
Why Broadcasters are Missing a Trick with YouTube
The major awards are divided into separate categories for drama and comedy. In the drama category, “Game of Thrones” was nominated for a stunning 22 awards, just ahead of “Westworld” which qualified for 21, and “The Handmaid’s Tale” which walked away with 20 nominations. For comedy, “Atlanta” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” were tops with 16 and 14 nominations, respectively.
If we break down each Drama and Comedy nominee based on individual Facebook Pages and YouTube channels you can see that every show has its own individual Facebook Page which has no doubt been developed with a specific audience strategy in mind. However, it’s a different story on YouTube…..While the networks behind the shows (Netflix, FX, ABC, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime) are uploading clips and other other promotional footage to their main YouTube channels, specific destination channels built around each individual show haven’t been created. And that’s a big missed opportunity.
Let’s take a deep dive into the Best Comedy category, specifically the HBO nominees. Each of the 3 nominees (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Barry”, and “Silicon Valley”) are generating an impressive number of Facebook views and engagements via their official Pages, but uploads to YouTube are processed via the main HBO channel so there’s little to no breakout visibility for each show. HBO has generated 192M YouTube views in the past 365 days with the following nominated shows part of that total:
- “Silicon Valley” 2.7M views
- “Curb Your Enthusiasm” 2.5M
- “Barry” 1.6M views
And while “Barry” may have generated fewer YouTube views than its more established stablemates on the official HBO channel, uploads of content around the brand new show to that channel generated 1.5x the engagement rate of the platform average.
It’s pretty much the same story for nominees in the Best Drama category, although HBO have created a standalone destination YouTube channel for “Game of Thrones”.
But look at the average 30 day Facebook engagement rate the phenomenally successful “Stranger Things” has attracted over the past year – almost 7x the platform average! If Netflix created a standalone YouTube channel specifically for official content around this show, they could focus their video content strategy around a more targeted audience.
One of the best promotional videos I have ever seen on Facebook was this upload to the “Stranger Things” page in July 2016. Not only was it innovative, it stood out in the News Feed and set the stage for the buzz that quickly built around the show. Had it been uploaded directly to the Netflix Page it may possibly have got lost amid the noise, but by separating out the content and giving it its own spotlight, it certainly encouraged the audience to buy in and follow the story as it unfolded (unless they went down the binge-route of course).
Audience Development Strategy Takeaways
There’s an obvious appetite for the breakout of broadcast content within its own individual social video property. Video content strategists should consider:
- Creating individual social properties for each series to give fans a dedicated destination site to follow.
- One-size doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing – dedicating a Facebook Page or YouTube channel to a show or series allows the owner of the page to craft the message according to the audience.
- Seperate social properties allow the broadcaster to segment the success metrics for each series. These benchmarks are invaluable in determining how audiences react to certain pieces of content.
- Broadcasters can ‘test’ video content and how it plays – and incorporate those findings into a future social video, or broadcast strategy.