Predicto Mobile's User Engagement Forecasts TV Ratings Success

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Text messaging and television go hand in hand as members of Predicto Mobile speculate about their favorite shows via SMS. Snackable Media's Predicto is the largest premium mobile community, with more than one million members voting on current events and celebrity gossip.

Predicto voter engagement with a program can provide early indicators of that show’s popularity and buzzworthy status.

Internet age, watching television was a relaxing, passive pastime. Besides channel surfing, a viewer’s biggest exertion would be getting up to grab a snack. With the rise of social networking and mobile texting, those days are long over. An active community of commenters is making their opinions known to the world via Facebook and Twitter feeds, regularly updated in real-time. Snackable Media’s popular text messaging service, Predicto Mobile, serves as a prime example of this digital water cooler trend, hosting a community of more than a million engaged pop culture enthusiasts who voice their opinions about hot topics via SMS.

So far this year, high-profile events like the Grammys, Super Bowl and Winter Olympics garnered record-setting ratings. In a recent New York Times article and again in a Nielsen report issued on Monday, online and mobile chatter was cited as key to increased viewership, contradicting previously held thinking that the Internet and mobile devices detract from more traditional media like television. In fact, Predicto voter engagement with a program can provide early indicators of that show’s popularity and buzzworthy status.

'Glee' achieved hit status not long after the show’s premiere last summer, and grew into a TV phenomenon during its freshman season. The insatiable hunger for all things 'Glee' has been reflected by the Predicto community, which has been vocal in expressing their opinions on song choices and guest star appearances. SMS questions related to the teen dramedy routinely attract close to 2,000 votes, and with the show set to debut its spring episodes, those numbers should only rise.

Based on current Predicto results, 'Dancing with the Stars' should enjoy one of its most popular seasons in years. Predicto members are eagerly casting their votes on which C-list stars will be voted off the show first, with more than 7,400 people predicting Kate Gosselin will be ousted before Pamela Anderson. Strong engagement from the Predicto community in this case proved commensurate with increased viewership, as Tuesday afternoon’s early reports indicate that ratings for the premiere of 'Dancing' were “way up from its fall debut.”

In contrast, 'American Idol''s waning prominence with fans and critics is also echoed by Predicto voters’ comments on the show. A recent Predicto survey asking which contestant would be the first one ousted from the Top 12 received less than a thousand responses, whereas at this time last year, a similar Idol poll was voted on by more than 5,000 Predicto members. As it turns out, this season’s 'Idol' suffered the lowest ratings ever for a Top 12 elimination show.

As social networking becomes an increasingly common practice when watching television, it provides an alternative to Nielsen ratings and DVR data on gauging a show’s popularity. It’s possible that in a few years, people’s real-time responses to what they are viewing could make or break the fate of their favorite TV program.

Predicto Mobile is a market-leading interactive SMS provider that engages members on pop culture and current events. Additionally, Predicto has established itself as a prime destination for media to reference statistics, polls and public opinion. Visit Predicto.com to follow the company's entertainment blog, news updates, top polls and Twitter feed, or go to TV.Predicto.com for videos featuring the latest red-carpet interviews and celebrity predictions. Predicto Mobile is a Snackable Media company.

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Peter Dedman
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