19 May 2016

GEORDIE SOARS… as MTV reality show celebrates 5th birthday with record audience on TV and online

By Brad Rees

Love it or hate it, MTV’s licence-to-ill DocuSoap has wiped the floor with all previous traditional ratings records and amassed a vibrant, engaged social audience in the process.

An army of digital natives gorge on content, not just for the 42 minutes per episode but 24/7 – as new and old habits collide and somehow converge.

You could argue, and I would, that Geordie Shore’s accumulating success is fuelled by content consumed and in a lot of cases created on social.

As TV bible, Broadcast magazine puts it, media owners shouldn’t see the young audience’s nano-flit between TV and social as grounds for divorce:

“Polygamy is the new normal – and multiplatform juggernauts like Geordie Shore simply have to be available on every platform because that’s where the audience expects to find it!”

As the silicon valley social monoliths get deeper into the potential of long-form TV content – broadcasters need to join in the conversation.

The elephant in the room for all social platforms is whether the Netflix-commissioned model could go super-stellar on, say, Facebook or would that be a bit like the pub landlord playing his son’s under-11s camcorder footage on the jumboscreen, instead of Sky Sports on Saturday at 3pm?

The show’s average audience amongst 16-34 year-old digital natives has grown to its highest level ever in the ultimate series, which finished its run on MTV UK this month. Over eight episodes the 12th series attracted Geordie Shore’s highest average TV audience, peaking at 1.4 million viewers – a record for any MTV show in the UK.

Many of the narratives that run throughout shows like Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea, TOWIE are threaded with themes of betrayal, unfaithfulness and two-timing tossers.

The single narrative thread running through the five years of TV, online and social data for Newcastle’s best known lads and lasses’ televised shagfest is of an audience who are habitually promiscuous in their viewing habits.

They are, at the very least, four-timers: doing it on scheduled, recorded, on-demand, pay TV and that’s not including the squillions of video bites available on MTV.co.uk, where weekly Geordie Shore clips account for eight of every 10 clips viewed.

I’ll leave the last word to Kerry Taylor, MTV’s brand lead outside the U.S. who commissioned the first series of Geordie Shore:

“Multi-platform, multi-screen viewing is now the norm for young viewers everywhere. Geordie Shore’s success illustrates the importance of delivering media experiences which perfectly fit the changing lifestyle and viewing habits of young audiences.”