March 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Despite his lagging numbers the late night TV ratings race TBS has renewed Conan’s contract – a move that makes a ton of sense in light of both a very young core audience and his strong social numbers. Conan’s young audience ensures growth over the long run. According to the Wall Street Journal, TBS puts the media age of his audience at 32 years old – the youngest of all the late night shows.
Amazingly enough that same article notes; “Television executives say that Mr. O’Brien’s ratings problem lies in part with his niche appeal.” -showing an alarming lack of understanding of the strength of the niche programming in a super fragmented world. The “Team Coco” brand embraces niche – and defines it clearly. In a recent presentation that TBS made to our Point Park University students one particular slide (pictured here) stood out as an indicator of how well the Conan team knows and works to connect to their fan base.
Facebook numbers underscore the Conan youth and social media advantage. Conan blows away the top contenders at 1.8 million with Leno lagging at 408 thousand and Letterman at 319 thousand. Team Coco translates Conan’s brand online with a 24/7 presence that combines with the TV audience to bring an estimated 20 million people to their sponsors commercial views according to Turner as quoted in Ad Age article aptly entitle “Conan’s Ratings are Down, but He’s Huge Online”.
Conan O’Brien’s comedic path has had some unpredictable twists and turns but the clarity of his connection to his young socially network savvy market may be the differentiator that creates long-term success.