X Factor 2013 hit by Twitter decline

The X Factor has suffered a 40 per cent drop in the programme's related tweets, year on year.

Sam Bailey: X Factor 2013 winner
Sam Bailey: X Factor 2013 winner

The 37.9 per cent fall in The X Factor related tweets, according to a study, reflects a drop in TV audience figures, which were down 8.3 per cent year-on-year for the The X Factor 2013 series.

Nevertheless, The X Factor dominated tweets about TV between 1 June 2013 and 31 May 2014, accounting for 8.6 per cent of all TV-related tweets over the period and for around a quarter of all TV-related activity during the four months the show was on air.

The 'Year in the Life of TV and Twitter in the UK' study by Kantar Media attempts to correlate Twitter volume with TV audiences and examines whether there are causal effects.

The report found that while the volume of pre-show Twitter activity can work towards increasing the starting audience for some TV shows it is impossible to isolate it as the only factor.

However, the study also looks at uplift during shows and compared minute-by-minute viewing figures with Twitter volume. An episode of Masterchef is highlighted and demonstrates a small uplift, which appears to grow as the programme progresses.

The causation analysis was carried out by Mindshare UK, using The Granger Causation Methodology - a technique used to test for causal relationships between two datasets.

The report also found that Brit Awards 2014 was the most popular tweeted programme between 1 June 2013 and 31 May 2014, with 958,785 tweets. The second-placed single broadcast was an episode of I’m a Celeb with 364,369 tweets. The X Factor 2013 final had 320,631 tweets.

Twelve out of the top 15 most-tweeted about broadcasts were live events, mainly TV series finales or openers. Sports events were not included in the data.

The report also reveals some programmes' Twitter activity is disproportionately large when compared to their viewing levels. These include Skins, Top Boy, Game of Thrones and 90210.

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