The 2015-16 TV season has begun, and networks and advertisers are starting to make sense of the ratings battle. But which new series are winning the other battle that matters—the one playing out on social media?
Of all the new premieres, The Muppets, Scream Queens and Quantico were the shows that resonated most on Twitter and Facebook. All three pulled in between 200,000 and 300,000 social engagers within three days of their respective premieres, according to data provided to Adweek by data science firm 4C.
The Muppets received the most engagers with 281,190, edging out Scream Queens' 273,905. Quantico's premiere drew 222,485 engagers. But that's nothing compared with returning shows that already have a following—most notably Fox's Empire, which finished with the most engagers of any premiere: 677,209. Despite being in its 11th season, venerable Grey's Anatomy had the second most with 409,698 for its premiere. Fellow ABC series Once Upon a Time nabbed 325,486 engagers.
Overall, Fox led with 689,290 engagements to ABC's 658,738. Fox premiered five shows—the most of any network—while ABC debuted three. NBC, which also debuted three new series, finished with 258,166 engagements. CBS, with its older-skewing audience, was well behind with just 31,728 engagements for its three new shows.
Microsoft and AT&T were the most willing to buy ad time during new series, with each running 11 spots—though Microsoft edged AT&T in terms of total minutes—and choosing to advertise mostly on Heroes and Scream Queens.
Hyundai and Verizon were two big buyers with NBC's The Player. The leading categories were automotive, technology and telco.
4C also measured the strength of connection between shows and brands using their Penetration Per Thousand (PPM) metric, which uses social data to answer this question: For every 1,000 people who engage with Brand X, how many also engage with TV Show Y?
For example, 4C calculated that Barbie and UGG would be best served advertising on Scream Queens, while Disney and Google would connect most with people who watch The Muppets (which airs on Disney-owned ABC).