In advance of the American Idol finale next week, Nielsen released a detailed snapshot on American Idol. While it's not big surprise to us, Steve Jurvetson is proving correct already - most of the people who watch American Idol are 35 or over. Demographics are destiny! Bring on the Florida lifestyle.
While on first blush it may seem surprising that more idol viewers are over the age of 65 than between 12-17, it's not very surprising really because those folks are older, not dead and there are far more over them than there are 12-17 year olds. For the same reasons it shouldn't be all that surprising that the sweet spot for Idol is 35-64.
But what the graphic doesn't spell out directly is that exactly 50% of Idol's viewers are in the 18-49 year old demographic and for a show with as many viewers, that's absolutely phenomenal. Of course you would've known that already had you been reading Bill's weekly season-to-date 18-49 rankings, which include percentage viewership in the demo, here's the latest version.
Idol viewers who text, seem to text quite a bit with women being more text happy than men. Since the graphic is a bit confusing, here's what Nielsen had to say about it: According to Nielsen Mobile, the average American Idol participant voted via text message 38 times in April 2008, with the April 29th show generating many more texts per person than the April 1st show. Women tend to vote via text with greater frequency than men: in April 2008, female voters of American Idol submitted 44% more text-message votes than their male counterparts. Voting by text is only available to AT&T subscribers. Nielsen Mobile tracks text message voting and contest behavior through its panel of 43,000 U.S. wireless lines.
Web traffic is much higher earlier in the season than later with the recent data showing 50% less traffic than early march.
The top advertisers this year in rank order through March 31, 2008 were Coca-Cola, AT&T, Ford, Proctor & Gamble and Apple. You can check out the full release here, there's some very interesting information on digital downloads in the release as well.