Sometimes, these contests just aren’t fair. The good old Emmys, the TV Academy and this year’s host network, NBC, all lined up the most fiercest lineup ever they imagined of social-media goodness for Monday night’s broadcast of TVs top awards. And as far as social-media impact goes, they did pretty well, according to Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings, with the total unique audience up 6 percent from last year, when CBS hosted edition 65 on a September Sunday.
But those numbers were nothing compared to Sunday night’s Music Video Awards on basic-cabler MTV, which doesn’t even run music videos anymore (they largely leave that to YouTube). The VMAs shook off Emmy’s competition like a poorly glued rhinestone on a dancer’s jiggling rump during one of the VMAs’ many music interludes. The results weren’t even close. Here are the relevant big numbers:
Unique Audience Reached: ’14 Emmys – 8.8 million people ...’13 Emmys – 8.3 million … VMAs – 10.9 million
Total tweets about the show: ’14 Emmys – 1.1 million … ‘13 Emmys – 925,000 …. VMAs – 12.6 million
The No. 1 clip was that very amusing Bryan Cranston kiss/mild mauling he administered when Julia Louis-Dreyfus came up to collect her Comedy Best Actress statue. The bit tied back to a funny interaction the two did while onstage earlier as presenters (based on their shared time onscreen two decades ago on Seinfeld). It was easily one of the best bits of what was a pretty good show all around. Here’s just one version of that video (this one already has 290,000 views on YouTube)
The No. 3 fan-posted video, in a bit of a surprise, was the acceptance speech fromAnna Gunn, Cranston’s Breaking Bad co-star. Sandwiched in between, no surprise at all, was the emotionally wrenching and deeply touching remembrance of Robin Williams by his long-time friend and fellow comic Billy Crystal.
“The Julia-Bryan kiss was the No.1 viral gift of this year’s Emmys for fan postings on YouTube. A creative shot that worked perfectly,” said RelishMix CEO Marc Karzen. “This was followed by Billy Crystal’s very touching tribute to Robin Williams, which will continue to be shared with re-posts and views over the week.”
RelishMix also broke out which nominated shows saw the biggest jump in likes for their Facebook page, for the month ahead of the Emmys. Social-media powerhouse Game of Thrones added 239,000 followers to bring its Facebook presence to 13.4 million likes, an impressive number (though far behind that 100-million-strong following for Shakira, speaking of epic rump shakers in the music business).
But guess which show was second in Facebook “lift” the past month? Yep, Breaking Bad, which jumped 191,000 likes to 10.2 million in the past month. Not bad for a show that went off the air a year ago. But as Karzen points out, the rising numbers present “a clear road map” for Netflix and other syndicators as they market the show’s old episodes for years to come.
Karzen was also rather forgiving of the TV Academy and NBC on their second-place finish for the week’s awards shows.
“It’s hard to compete with #VMA2014 from Sunday with an audience that won’t put down their devices and a show that’s packed with #omg moments,” said Karzen. “But the 360(-degree) experience continues to build for all live events and scripted programs are taking more and more risks to keep feeding their fans.”