Social Intelligence Says The X Factor Decline Continues
The UK’s most recognisable talent show, The X Factor, has been successful for 11 years by inviting audiences to crush, or grant, the dreams of hopeful singers. However, this year, the show’s 12th season, has been dogged by press accusations of a tired formula, and for the first time the show has been trashed in the ratings war with bitter rival Strictly Come Dancing.
Simon Cowell’s solution to the crisis has been to revamp the entire formula, with new judges, new hosts and more ‘fun’. The question remains though, is it working? I decided to use Synthesio’s Social Intelligence platform to look at the online data and see how this plan worked. The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a mixed bag.
The appointment of new judge Rita Ora seems to have been a little too successful for Simon Cowell, so much so that online conversation about her is close to outgrowing conversation around Cowell. His volume exceeds hers by less than one percent, and audiences have warmed to her jokey and flirty character more than Cowell’s infamous villain persona. Cowell, a notorious lover of the limelight, is unlikely to be pleased by this.
Nick Grimshaw, on the other hand, chosen as a judge for his music industry connections and youth appeal, lags behind the rest of the judges in terms of share of voice. He also received the greatest volume of negative sentiment relative to other judge, with nearly 11% of mentions surrounding him being negative. Finally, veteran of the programme Cheryl Fernandez-Versini also failed to capture the audience’s attention, with the second lowest volume of all of the judges.
In terms of the hosts, former graduate of the X Factor and new host of the show Olly Murs has proved to be a hit, amassing more conversation than even Grimshaw. Co-host Caroline Flack has also been popular, but was received less than half of Murs’ volume.
The six chair challenge has revived interest in the show in October, which was severely declining in September. The average show in October received more than three times the online attention than the average show in September.
However, in a blow for the show, it still receives less social media attention than Strictly, despite a well organised social media campaign. Simon Cowell may find that the mercilessness of the audience, which he has harnessed for years, has finally turned on him.