American Idol producer, Fremantle Media, has long been generating well-constructed research from a variety of sources. Diversified studies had previously revealed that American Idol viewers are heavy social media users, but with another season of the show fast-approaching, Fremantle's insight team recognized the need to enhance their understanding of this crucial audience.
Finally, having previously had a hard time conveying research findings in a way that connected with creatives and executives, Fremantle wanted a way to find the stories that hadn't been told yet.
To build a deeper, more engaging, and more complete research story, Fremantle added Voxpopme's agile video solution into their research program. Their diversified approach now gathered feedback from tv ratings, survey data, video insights, focus groups, online communities, social media, and syndicated data.
In this mix, agile video technology was used to deliver hundreds of videos in a matter days across two core studies. Study one asked respondents how social media affected their experience of the show to help Fremantle's social team understand the drivers of social engagement.
The second study focused on relatability and the essence of American Idol, asking viewers to answer four video questions discussing the roots of the show, how it captivates American spirit, how viewers identify with contestants and what they look forward to in the new season.
Using agile video added an essential layer of context to other data sources. Respondents revealed that they were able to get a better sense of who the contestants are as people on social media, making them more personable. They also highlighted that social media made the show a more immersive experience and provided a sense of exclusivity with 'not seen on tv' footage. This additional understanding empowers Fremantle's social team to engage fans early and often, keeping the show relevant even while it is off-air.
The relatability study revealed the importance of the contestant journey and how aspirational the show is because there are no barriers preventing participation. Video helped bring this to light and shape a person-centric American Idol advertisement showing off the contestant and judge's journeys in the process.
Using Voxpopme's automated video analytics, Fremantle's insight team was quickly able to find key themes occurring within all of their video feedback and socialize throughout the business.
Agile video insight provided executives across Fremantle with a better understanding of consumers' social interests and behavior, which led to new content creation and directly affected their broadcast strategy. By continuing to engage social media users year-round, the American Idol brand benefitted from far greater engagement even during the offseason. The increased engagement efforts resulted in increased engagement metrics on their social media year-on-year and a significant uplift in social followers.
Crucially, it also delivered an increase in contestant auditions - meaning better talent and better shows. As a result, Fremantle continues to use video feedback to gain a deeper understanding of their viewers and to shape critical strategic decisions.