‘American Idol’ Inspires Less Watercooler Chat

May 21, 2008  •  Post A Comment

“American Idol” is still the nation’s most-watched program, but somehow this year people have a lot less to say about it. Daily conversations about the popular Fox talent show have sharply decreased since last year, according to a survey of Americans between the ages of 13 and 69 conducted by Keller Fay Group, a New Brunswick, N.J., market research firm that specializes in word-of-mouth analysis.
Results were culled from surveying about 7,800 people this year, and 8,500 in 2007. Keller Fay conducts online interviews with a national cross-section of respondents and uses rolling four-week averages, said Ed Keller, the firm’s CEO.
Missing millions
“A year ago, about 9.9 million people were talking about ‘American Idol’ on any given day during the season,” Mr. Keller said. “This year, it’s 5.9 million. It’s still a lot of people, but it’s pretty big drop.”
The findings would seem to bolster a general feeling that “American Idol” has lost some steam. The singing contest’s ratings overall have dipped a bit since last season, though Fox executives and others expected that result; the writers strike, which affected first-quarter ratings at many of the broadcast networks, reduced the number of people tuning in to a wide variety of TV favorites.
Fox has said it hopes the show is more energetic next season. “I’m satisfied creatively, but not necessarily satisfied with the performance,” Peter Liguori, Fox’s chairman-entertainment, said during a recent conference call with reporters. “I can share with you and assure you that both the network and the producers really want to take a look at the show and see what we can do to inject it with new levels of energy.”
Despite the shifts in the program’s buzz, people still overwhelmingly like the show. The quality of this year’s talk is more positive, according to Keller Fay, with 68% of 2008 conversations demonstrating positive qualities, as opposed to 54% in 2007.
Dinner-table fave
Meanwhile, Keller Fay also found that chatter about “American Idol” has shifted to the home from the office or school. Conversations about “Idol” at work or school fell to 25% in 2008, compared with 37% in 2007. Meanwhile, conversations about the program at home rose to 63% in 2008, compared with 52% in 2007. Likewise, a greater percentage of people surveyed said they were talking about the show with members of their family — 60% in 2008 vs. 42% last year — rather than with co-workers, 16% in 2008 compared with 31% in 2007.
One big reason for the show’s diminishing watercooler appeal is its lack of a standout contestant. In years past, “Idol” watchers have often had an oddball or a person with a strange past, such as Fantasia or last year’s Sanjaya. This year, the contestants have been somewhat more straightlaced. “I think it still has quite a strong showing going on, but I think you’ve lost a little bit of the intrigue,” Mr. Keller said.


  1. There is a reason for that… There is nothing to talk about. The idol bosses decided they wanted David A and David C in the finals and they made it happen. Well guess what… nobody cares…

  2. I am really sorry to read about the decline of “American Idol” viewers. I look forward to the show and miss it when it ends for the season. I think that the talent was very good this season but the show did lose something but, I am not sure what. Fix what needs to be done as I really do not want the show to lose its appeal. Sherrie Malik your token senior citizen.

  3. The WGA strike should have meant more viewers for unscripted shows like American Idol, not less. It therefore does not make much sense to write “the writers strike, which affected first-quarter ratings at many of the broadcast networks, reduced the number of people tuning in to a wide variety of TV favorites” when in fact it should have had the opposite effect on AI.

  4. I do not think less people are watching American Idol. My boss and the tech in the back have had a contest going on for weeks about who would be in the finals and guess what both David’s are still in it. They are both talanted performers. I think David cook is a better singer but Little David has the little girls votes and I think that is why he is still in the running. All the young girls are going crazy over him. I guess at his concerts they can hand out bubble gum or lolly pops.

  5. Both Davids were highly overrated as singers.
    Cook was simply nothing more than a Daughtry-wannabe, and Archuletta’s doe-eyed, awe shucks naivety grew old by the time we were left with the final 12 contestants! YAWN…
    The real test of Idol’s success, and who the best singer that SHOULD HAVE won is and will always be the number of CDs sold after the show has ended, and the season is forgotten. Win or lose on the show, the real winners are those determined by the public en masse, that don’t watch the show (and then spend two hours afterward calling to vote and text repeatedly for the Tiger Beat teen heartthrob of the moment,) but spend $$$$$ to support the artist and their music.
    Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry are the real winners.
    The losers?
    Ruben, Clay, “Boom Box” Blake, Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, and last year’s winning “Pie Wagon” Jordan Sparks. None of these folks will be remembered five years from now, let alone ten!

  6. I am sure part of the problem was carry over from Season 6 which was an awful season, no one was very good.
    Season 6 is what I believe season 3 must have been like, a season I didn’t see but has always puzzled me because I find Fantasia to be a horrible singer, yet she won. Season 6 singer is not nearly as bad, but she wouldn’t have been higher then top ten in the other seasons have seen (4,5,7).
    The other part of the problem was the oh so obvious push David A was getting, regardless of the quality of what he sang he always seemed to get a compliment and sometimes an outright ridiculous favorable response (Yes Randy I am refering to you). He was pretty good singer, but extremely boring and predictable.
    The voters got it right this year with a landslide victory for Cook, despite David A’s push.

  7. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  8. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  9. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  10. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

  11. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  12. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  13. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

  14. This is the best blog I’ve ever seen in my life! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to share your this with everyone.

  15. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up 🙂

  16. Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

  17. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  18. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  19. I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  20. Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  21. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

  22. I agree with your thoughts here and I really love your blog! I’ve bookmarked it so that I can come back & read more in the future.

  23. I love the writing relevancy of your site and it does a beautiful decent work of presenting the info.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)