Freeform Upfront Powers Social Surge

Freeform hosted its first upfront presentation last week since rebranding from ABC Family, driving a surge in engagement for the network’s programs and confirming the network’s dominance in the digital world.

Throughout the week, the network’s powerhouse, “Pretty Little Liars,” generated more than 4.5 million engagements throughout the week; engagement peaked the day of the upfront presentation with 2.3 million engagements — up 16% relative to last year’s presentation.

Instagram drove more than 85% of the program’s cross-channel activity, as three of this week’s top five posts were related to the #FreeformUpfront and alone contributed nearly half a million likes and comments. Overall, the network saw a 41% increase in engagement surrounding upfronts this year compared to last, with PLL driving 65% of digital activity.

Provided by ListenFirst Media, DAR – TV measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Wikipedia combined. For more on the methodology behind DAR – TV, scroll to the bottom of the article.

Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) – TV
Broadcast Monday Apr 4, 2016 – Sunday Apr 10, 2016

1 1 The Voice 24,071
2 2 American Idol 16,482
3 4 America’s Got Talent 3,278
4 3 Empire 3,101
5 5 Kitchen Nightmares 2,804
6 6 Dancing With The Stars 2,698
7 7 America’s Funniest Home Videos 2,585
8 The Simpsons 1,426
9 10 This Old House 1,380
10 What Would You Do? 1,215

Cable/Streaming Monday Apr 4, 2016 – Sunday Apr 10, 2016

1 2 Dance Moms 14,198
2 4 Lip Sync Battle 8,267
3 Top Gear 6,300
4 5 Key & Peele 4,918
5 Pretty Little Liars 4,545
6 3 The Walking Dead 4,160
7 7 Shadowhunters 4,040
8 1 Game of Thrones 3,799
9 10 The Detour 3,146
10 8 Impractical Jokers 2,802

Late Night Monday Apr 4, 2016 – Sunday Apr 10, 2016

1 2 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 63,285
2 1 The Late Late Show With James Corden 33,063
3 Saturday Night Live 20,669
4 3 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 20,011
5 4 Conan 17,732

Trending Monday Apr 4, 2016 – Sunday Apr 10, 2016

Gay For Play 74 +4,047%
Containment 982 +1,864%
Grace and Frankie 154 +1,537%


Jason Klein is the co-founder and co-CEO of ListenFirst Media, a data and analytics company providing insights for brands. ListenFirst aggregates data streams from a wide range of digital, social, and traditional marketing sources to help brands optimize business performance.


ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) for Television are a raw aggregate of daily engagements based on owned, earned and organic consumer behavior on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Wikipedia and YouTube. These engagements encompass metrics pertaining to audience growth, page/profile views, page-level and post-level interactions, hashtag volume and Wikipedia page views for all television program pages (which provides a proxy for organic search volume).

Organic conversation volume is calculated based on the use of official hashtags, as well as those hashtags submitted directly from programmers and distributors. Only hashtags where conversation can be isolated to a specific television program are included in the rating.

The Variety weekly leaderboards for television represent the 7-day (Monday – Sunday) sum total of DAR – TV for all episodic programming, in and out of season, from the most popular programmers (Broadcast, Cable, & Streaming Services). Sports, live events, short-form content and other non-episodic programming are excluded from this ranking cohort but available to be rated directly by ListenFirst Media.

The Broadcast and Cable/Streaming Originals leaderboards each surface the respective top ten primetime programs. The Late Night leaderboard surfaces the top five late night / variety genre programs, from across the programming universe. Streaming Originals are considered primetime cable programming.

The Trending Leaderboard surfaces the three programs that tracked the largest relative growth in DAR – TV (from the previous 7-day measurement period), and are also in the top 25% based on absolute DAR – TV, from across the programming universe.

ListenFirst monitors the official digital account owned by the program on each aforementioned platform (except for Wikipedia, where the title-specific profile is considered official). Only the U.S. version of a program’s digital presence is monitored; for platforms that support regional profiles like Facebook, the “Global” profile is considered the U.S. profile. Only profiles that can be attributed to the specific program contribute to the rating (i.e. engagements that happen on the profile facebook.com/LouieFX are tracked, while engagements that happen on facebook.com/FX are not). For YouTube, in addition to any program-specific presence, content related to the program in question that originated on the parent company’s official YouTube channel is considered.

Note: Twitter data has been removed from Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) for Television as of 10/7/2014.

For other questions pertaining to methodology, contact ListenFirst Media.

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