New technologies are clearly influencing how, when and where we watch television. The ever-growing variety of media platforms has, in effect, given us many options for tuning into our favorite TV shows. Since we are no longer confined to watching shows when they are scheduled on the broadcast networks, cable networks, or in syndication, we have become our own programmers – able to watch most any show when it’s convenient for us. The basic concept of the Q Score was developed with this kind of thinking years ago, emphasizing that the true driving force of a successful program is its ability to satisfy the viewer and give them a reason to come back (i.e., a program’s inherent appeal) – regardless of time period, lead-in or lead-out.
The new media platforms such as Hulu, YouTube, MySpace, network web sites, and DVRs have literally played into Q Scores' favorite measurement concept, allowing viewers to watch the shows they like without the restrictions of a time period schedule. So, what does this really mean to program schedulers, program developers, commercial time sellers/marketers, and advertisers? The answer: audience size for any one media platform is less important than the magnitude of program likeability and the strength of ongoing commitment to future viewing. That is, programs that index high on viewer satisfaction, connection and devotion will have the best ROI. These programs will hold onto the most important viewers (the franchise audience that tunes in more frequently and watches more of each episode) and offer the most effective advertising environment (delivering viewers who are more attentive and responsive to sales messages).
Here are the key Q Scores measures to monitor in order to make informed decisions about the value of a program’s audience:
MEASURES OF PROGRAM SATISFACTION
· FAVORITE RATING: a measure of the overall fan base (incidence in the total population), representing the most enthusiastic viewers of the program. It is this top box measure of appeal that is used to develop the Positive Q Score.
· POSITIVE Q SCORE: a measure of the program’s inherent appeal as a re-percentage of the top box favorite viewer among those familiar with the program.
· NEGATIVE Q SCORE: a measure of the negative reaction among those familiar with the program (unsatisfied viewers who rate the program fair or poor).
· IMPACT Q: a measure that determines the intensity of program satisfaction during the season. IQ enhances the value of the program’s Positive Q Score by factoring in the current viewing frequency advantage forfavorite viewers -- the most loyal viewers. The higher the IQ Score, the stronger the current satisfaction level with the program among favorite viewers.
MEASURES OF DEVOTION TO WATCHING FUTURE EPISODES
· EMOTIONAL BONDING SCORES: a measure of the program’s overall ability to hold onto its general viewer base over time – tracking the intensity of devotion to the program among all current viewers. The higher the Emotional Bonding Score on this scale, the stronger the commitment to viewing future episodes among all viewers.
· EMOTIONAL BONDING Q (EBQ): a measure of the program’s ability to hold onto its most loyal viewers. The higher the EBQ, the stronger the commitment to future viewing among the program’s favorite viewers.