Fox doesn’t have streaming rights for “American Idol,” but it hardly seems to matter: “Idol”-related Web traffic boosted Fox.com to 4.6 million unique visitors in January, up 101% from December, says the Hollywood Reporter, citing Nielsen Online.
Unique visitors is the oldest form of network online bragging rights. The networks have recently begun releasing streaming data on individual shows online, as well as total videos streamed per month. On that front, CBS had the lead in December, according to comScore, but streaming stats and unique Web visits don’t necessarily correllate.
Fox’s jump online shows that traffic to Fox’s Web site works a lot like the network’s TV ratings, which surge in January when the new season of “American Idol” begins.
Similarly, AmericanIdol.com, which News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox operates with show producers Fremantle North America and 19 Entertainment, goes dormant between “Idol” seasons, but comes alive when the new season starts. The site features video and recaps of the top eight male and female performers. Traffic to that site accounted for 1.1 million unique visitors to Fox.com.
Disney’s (DIS) ABC saw a surge related to the season-debut of “Lost,” which it began promoting in January. Visits to ABC.com grew 11% in January.
January’s network Web site traffic standings:
ABC.com: 8.1 million unique visitors
NBC.com: 7.9 million
FOX.com: 4.6 million
CBS.com: 4.5 million