AAPL Stock: 118.29 ( -0.59 )

Printed from

iPod, iTunes boosts TV ratings

updated 11:00 am EST, Tue January 17, 2006

iPod bolsters ratings

Apple's iPod and the iTunes Music Store have been credited as to the rise in popularity of NBC's "The Office", which delivered a rating of 5.1 last Thursday--its highest ratings among adults 18 to 49. The show is NBC's top-performing video content available via the iTunes Music Store, accounting for one-third of all the NBC/Universal downloads. NBC says it is confident that the iPod exposure contributed to the rise, according to TelevisionWeek. However, one analyst cautions against making a correlation between iTunes downloads and TV show ratings. "We are not seeing the kind of volume yet on iTunes that would show up in a ratings bump," said Adi Kishore, analyst with Yankee Group.

Frederick Huntsberry, president of NBCU Television Distribution said that iTunes is bringing new audiences to the show that would not otherwise have watched.

"Consumers have choices, and we are not reaching all consumers with one technology," Huntsberry said.

iTunes is another way to bring new viewers to the network, according to the TV exec.

"We are offering content and reaching viewers for the first time. These are audiences using iTunes to manage their music," Huntsberry said. "Now being able to download TV shows is a new technology they are playing with."

A 14 percent rise in the download audience for ABC's "Lost" show along with the knowledge that iTunes distribution may have grown rather than cannibalized TV ratings reportedly gave the ABC Disney Television Group the confidence to add more iTunes content last week. The latest offerings included content from ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN, ABC Sports and SoapNet.

"There are so many different factors that go into driving success and increases in a show. From a statistical standpoint, [iTunes] is probably one of many factors," Albert Cheng said, executive vice president of digital media for the Disney ABC Television Group.

by MacNN Staff



  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yankee Group

    It seems that the analyst is forgetting the fact that one download on iTunes is going to be seen by the downloader and he/she is going to show it to their friends on their iPod during lunch hour. Now take that one download and you could have 10 new viewers watching on TV. Maybe more.

    Is it that far fetched to think that we might be seeing "Word of iPod" becoming the new "Word of Mouth"?

  1. corsair

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bending statistics

    "the fact that one download on iTunes is going to be seen by the downloader and he/she is going to show it to their friends on their iPod during lunch hour."

    That's not a fact. Probably a very small percentage of office workers would get 10 other people to cram around a tiny iPod for 40 minutes while eating. Probably doesn't happen enough to be statistically significant. Chances are 5 of those workers have got a Tivo and can record it themselves.

  1. Jesda

    Joined: Dec 1969



    True, you cant prove the iPod effect, but the increased exposure certainly can't hurt. JENNA FISCHER ROCKS!

  1. ag1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    sampling videos

    It could well be that people are viewing samples of programmes on the iTunes store and then having their attention drawn to particular series that encourages them to watch the programmes. Likewise, people could be showing samples to their work colleagues (perhaps that is what Beeble meant above?) and drawing attention to / promoting the reputation of various shows; again resulting in new viewers that then find time to see a particular series. This could explain a disproportionate iTunes/iPod effect on viewing habits which sales of video alone could not explain.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented