That’s Entertainment – Analyzing the Emmys

Dan Grady's picture
 By | August 21, 2014
in Sentiment Analysis, Social Media, social media analytics
August 21, 2014

Earlier this year, we did some detailed social media analytics leading up to the Academy Awards to see if there was any correlation between what was being said on Facebook and the results of the Best Picture winner.  If you’re interested, you can see the results in this post

What the Oscar analysis uncovered was that while most of the quantitative data in terms of social activity and gross sales favored the blockbuster hit Gravity (which did take home a number of awards), the qualitative data favored 12 Years a Slave, which won Best Picture.  By qualitative, we mean using different analytic functions like word frequency or sentiment analysis on the actual social conversations or text.

I thought it would be interesting to do a similar analysis for the shows nominated for Emmys in both the Comedy and Drama categories.  I will make this disclaimer now: What follows isn’t very scientific and if you are in any office pools, I wouldn’t go changing your picks based on the analysis.

We pulled down all the Facebook posts and comments from each of the nominated shows pages from 8/11/2014 through 8/20/2014, roughly the week leading up to the event.  Then we applied text analytic techniques like word frequency and sentiment analysis from our WebFOCUS BI platform to give us more detailed insights into the actual conversations.  And then we visualized the results on a dashboard.  Here are some highlights:

  • Overall, we gathered 38,036 unique posts and comments from the 12 pages that coincided with the nominated shows.
  • These 12 pages are “liked” by 74.5 million people – everyone’s favorite vanity metric.
  • The Big Bang Theory was the leader in Share of Page likes at 31.8 million or 43%.  Game of Thrones came in second with 13.4 million or 18%.
  • The Big Bang Theory also won Share of Voice for the time period analyzed with 8,732 posts and comments or 23% of the total conversation.  Orange is the New Black came in second with 7,482 posts and comments or 20%.  Obviously, with such a large following you’d expect Big Bang to have more engagement, especially since Orange is the New Black has only 3.6% of the total page likes. This indicates a very engaged social audience.  I wonder if that will translate to success come Monday the 25th.
  • Breaking Bad was the leader in the drama category with 7,212 posts/comments or 19%.
  • In general, comedies had a 60/40 edge in total pages likes and share of voice.
  • Females dominated the conversation producing 79% of the posts/comments.

Okay, those are the “quantitative” stats, but if we follow the Oscar’s lead it’s the “qualitative” data that is a better indicator.  So, like the Oscars, we took the total percentage of posts and comments that scored either positively or negatively with the sentiment engine.  For example, this year’s Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave had 56 percent positive and 15 percent negative conversation on its Facebook page for a total score of 71.  The thought is that a score that high indicates that people have very strong opinions about the film either one way or another.

Let’s use the same approach to determine the potential winners for both Best Comedy and Best Drama at the Emmys.

In the Best Drama category we have a close race, but the winner would be Downton Abbey with a combined score of 44.4 percent of the commentary (5,301 posts).   38.6 percent of the comments scored positively and 7.6 scored negatively.   Mad Men was a close second with a total score of 41.7% scoring and, interestingly, generated the most negative posts at 13.4%.

In the Best Comedy category, it’s too close to call.  Both the Big Bang Theory and Louie came in with a 43.6% total sentiment score.   Louie has a slight edge, because 35.5% of the conversation was positive versus Big Bang’s 34.6%.  However, for a tie breaker I’m going to use word frequency analysis, and both Penny and Sheldon are represented in the Tag Cloud on the dashboard so I’m going to give the edge to the Big Bang Theory.  Very scientific, right?

While the approach and overall hypothesis we’ve laid out here is just for fun, the social data acquisition capabilities and analytical techniques we’ve used are very real and our providing a lot of value to our customers right now.  If you’re interested in learning more and perhaps even applying these techniques to your organization’s social data, take us up on our social media challenge.