An article in the New York times discusses how TV execs spotted an unlikely hit TV show by monitoring the internet and its chat forums. Analysis by Initiative Media indiucated a new way of researching TV show popularity:

Initiative Media began looking at Internet chatter for the first time last year, adding a new element to the mix of methods of predicting early awareness of shows. Last year, when “Lost” defied all expectations by demonstrating a clatter of attention on the Web, Initiative began questioning whether the passive examination they were doing of the chat sites was simply not a proper way to measure advance audience interest in television shows.

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