Yesterday in the open about the Emmys I wrote that I’ll be interested in what the ratings are because I wasn’t convinced that people cared, and the timing wasn’t great with so much sh-t going on even before the Queen died and the 24-hour non-stop coverage that has ensued. Well, the data is now available…and the data is not encouraging, at least not for the Emmys.
According to Variety the Emmys broadcast was down 25% from 2021, a record low, and it was especially low for viewers aged 18-49. Only 5.9 million people tuned in, compared to 7.9 last year. In fact, the audience for this year’s Emmys was even lower than it was in 2020 when there was basically no red carpet and most of the Emmys were presented virtually.
The fact that it was on a Monday probably didn’t help. But also the Emmys happened during a really, really busy weekend in pop culture with the Venice and Toronto film festivals in play and New York Fashion Week and the Queen and also, hilariously, another event – though this one was totally impromptu. It’s the power of BTS.
Let me set the scene:
On Monday night, BTS’s Jin livestreamed himself playing a video game. Jin also happened to be in Los Angeles, where the Emmys were taking place at the same time. So in one part of the city, hundreds of celebrities had gathered for the biggest night in television and in another part of the city one member of the biggest band in the world was in a hotel room doing nothing but playing a video game.
Now let me show you the data. Here’s the early data:
Last year's Emmys ceremony had 7.4 million viewers, up from 2020's record low of 6.37 million. The Emmys are airing right now on NBC, and 5.1 million viewers worldwide are watching a BTS member (Jin) play video games in his pajamas on their phones.— Soo Youn (@lalasoo) September 13, 2022
Legacy media is not prepared.
Here are the final numbers:
I mean, fair enough, this is kind of apples to oranges since Jin’s livestream was bringing in people from around the world and the Emmys’ ratings as cited above represent a mostly domestic audience. But Soo Youn’s point in the first tweet about legacy media still stands. Especially when you consider target demographics. Viewers aged 18-49, a coveted demo, weren’t engaging with the Emmys but I can guarantee you Jin’s livestream hit that demographic sweetspot. And it’s a sweetspot because this is the consumer demo – they spend money. They’ll spend it through their devices and they’ll physically get up off their couches and leave their homes to do it too. Which is what happened in Toronto with the BTS pop-up that opened two weeks ago and already…
Think about the cost too, and resources. The economy of the Emmys goes into the millions. Meanwhile all Jin had to do was turn on his tablet. And he’s not even an official gamer who makes money off streaming themselves playing through subscriptions, brand placements, and other ad revenue. So, yes, that too is a profession now in our times. I’m saying this for the people in the back rolling their eyes about how it’s a loser thing to do, watching someone, whether or not they’re a professional gamer or a member of a pop band, play games for several hours. I used to think that way too – but this is generational, and for members of a younger generation, it’s their form of entertainment. Their counterargument to older people telling them that their viewing habits are pathetic might be to ask how viewing an award show is any better. That’s three hours of your time spent watching wealthy people giving each other trophies and patting themselves on the back, which is definitely my kink, and I’ve been doing it for decades but the people who are coming up now don’t have the same level of interest. At least not the way it’s being presented.
Over the last few years there’s been increasing angst over the future of award shows, it’s not just the Emmys. Can award shows be saved? How can they be improved? Will they end up on the streaming services? I have no answers but I do have a suggestion…which is actually just a joke.
Should BTS just host everything? Ha. Like I said, it’s a joke. But only because only one side would benefit from that and it’s not BTS. Besides, BTS is booked and busy. Here’s V on the cover of Vogue Korea – three new covers that were just posted yesterday ahead of the October issue release.
Yours in gossip,