Joel McHale took an informal survey of college students helping him prep for a stand-up show on their campus. He asked how many watched his show Community. All 30 raised their hands. He asked how many watch it Thursday night at 8 pm? None. How many own TVs? Four. How many watch it online? All. [source]
These stats are not covered by Nielsen because, as Community creator Dan Harmon puts it, “you can’t guarantee those people watched a Colgate ad”. The same can be said of time slot viewers but advertisers are decades behind.
Marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk predicts hard times for TV in the next 5 years. He says traditional media is now overpriced, and thinks the market will bear that out. Agreed. Producers will no longer have to court advertisers. Advertisers will now be forced to court viewers. And the first system that correctly captures how to monetize this complex new reality should call its system Abed’s Algorithm, in honor of Community's resident TV savant.
We want to create Abed’s Algorithm, or whatever it might be called. As long as it’s not Nielsen.