Here’s my latest from the print version of Variety, on the increasing level of research on a partisan split in primetime viewing preferences. It’s no surprise that conservatives flock to Bill O’Reilly and liberals to Rachel Maddow, but why are there differences in “NCIS” vs. “CSI: Miami”?
Is primetime polarized?
As research into voter preferences gets ever more sophisticated, it’s a natural that viewer choice would start to be an indicator of partisan stripes.
It’s more of a curiosity given the huge outlay for political ad spending each cycle, with more dollars shifting into primetime for candidates and issue ads, and an environment in which it’s harder to figure out how to reach voters.
Using set-top box data from subscribers who opt in, TiVo collects data linking TV viewing habits with party affiliation, which the company’s VP of advertising and research sales Tara Maitra says can be “quite advantageous for political campaigns in helping them more effectively target a desired audience.”
Evan Tracey, founder and president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, says these days of hyper media consumption can put a premium on not only collecting but also connecting the data and putting the message in front of voters.
While it’s not hard to discern who will watch Bill O’Reilly vs. who will watch Rachel Maddow, what is a bit surprising is that there may be a divide even when it comes to seemingly similar procedural dramas.