CONVERGENCE: WEB BOOSTS ‘SURVIVOR’ SUCCESS

By: Paul Bond

‘First Time TV … Internet Worked Well Together’





by Paul Bond



(The Hollywood Reporter) The outstanding success of ‘Survivor’ can
be partially attributed to the savvy way CBS used the Internet to
promote the television show-turned-cultural phenomenon, analysts
said Thursday.



After crunching the numbers, Nielsen//NetRatings analyst Allen
Weiner has determined that ‘Survivor’s’ site and Web activity in
many ways parallels that of last year’s ‘The Blair Witch Project,’
which has become the de facto standard by which all other media
marketing Web sites are measured.



‘I’ll go out on a limb here and say that this is the first time
TV and the Internet worked well together,’ Weiner said.



The ‘Survivor’ portion of the CBS.com Web site scored an impressive
253,970 different visitors Wednesday night, up 115% from Tuesday’s
118,108 unique visitors, Nielsen//NetRatings said.



To put that into perspective, Buffy.com, the official site for
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ garnered 114,000 different users during
July, and ‘Dawson’s Creek’s’ DawsonsCreek.com doesn’t get enough
traffic to measure, Nielsen//NetRatings said.



Nielsen’s numbers represent only those who surfed from their homes
as opposed to those who surf from work.



‘The ‘Survivor’ site was the ultimate promotional tool to keep the
buzz going on days the show wasn’t on,’ Weiner said.



Weiner said the strength of the site was its simplicity and that it
didn’t rely heavily on fancy moving pictures that, for the most part,
only the 9% of Internet surfers who use a broadband connection could
appreciate.



‘CBS was smart,’ he said. ‘They made a separate companion experience
as opposed to trying to put television on the Web.’



CBS vice president communications Dana McClintock said CBS was
surprised by the popularity of the site. ‘The traffic exceeded our
wildest dreams.’ he said. ‘We always understood Internet fans would
naturally be fans of this show. We certainly had fun with the Web
along the way.’



Since ‘Survivor’ debuted May 31, about 50% of the traffic to CBS.com
can be attributed to folks seeking the ‘Survivor’ portion of the site, Nielsen//NetRatings said.



‘Survivor’ was an online advertising success, as well. Before the
show’s debut, there were 30 banner ads at CBS.com. By July 23, the
site boasted 52, Nielsen//NetRatings said. On Wednesday, there were
42 banner ads at CBS.com.



Of course, not everyone is a fan of the show. There are those whose cyber-destination is SurvivorSucks.com – a site that comes from the
same people who created BigBrotherBlows.com and RealWorldBlows.com.



Traffic at SurvivorSucks.com peaked during the week ending July 24
with 262,836 unique visitors, Nielsen//NetRatings said.



Even a small software company benefited from the show’s popularity.
Survivor Software, which has the good fortune of owning the
Survivor.com Web address, got 250,000 different visitors in July.
Before the show’s launch, traffic at Survivor.com was too small to
measure, Nielsen//NetRatings said.



(Nielsen//NetRatings is a joint venture of NetRatings and Nielsen.
E&P and Nielsen share corporate ownership – VNU USA.)









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