The ratings have come in for American Idol's season 12 finale and the news is not good. The program lost more than 40 percent of its audience from last season's finale, which was about 7 million viwers. The show drew a disappointing 3.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, with 14.3 million viewers total.
Never before had an American Idol finale not done at least 20-million viewers. S.O.S., captain, the ship is sinking!
Brad Adgate, Horizon Media senior vice president of research, believes he knows what went wrong. He says that the average age of Idol viewers is more than 51 (!) years old, an increase of nearly 4 years from only two seasons ago.
“The numbers are headed in the wrong direction,” he said. “If the show got 10 million viewers and the median age was 32, I don’t think advertisers would mind that. But it’s become your grandparents’ American Idol.”
I am pretty sure Fox did not use that quote at its upfront this week.
Adgate says that The Voice and The X Factor have really hurt American Idol.
“What made Idol so special was its limited supply,” he said. “And to its credit, Fox didn’t succumb to the financial pressures of running the show in the Fall. But to keep Simon Cowell happy, it created a spin-off series and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that once it came in, you started to see this significant downfall for Idol. … In two years, Idol’s average audience has dropped by 10 million viewers, from 23.1 million viewers to 13.2 million.
“Buyers are not going to be tripping over themselves like they had been about paying a premium ad rate for Idol,” he added. “Sure, it’s a top 10 show this year, but with young viewers leaving en masse and next year’s judges up in the air…”
What do you think?