Tumblr Fans Go Gaga For American Horror Story Premiere

Breaking Down the Tumblr Discussion for Rich Contextual and Qualitative Insights

It’s here. The moment we’ve all been waiting for: American Horror Story is back. With the airing of the fifth season on October 7th, we tuned in with our popcorn and (for some of us) our teddy bears; but most importantly, we tuned in with ForSight (and no we’re not talking about the supernatural here) to catch the suspense as it unfolded on screen and over Tumblr.
While critics’ numbers indicate that the premiere had slightly less viewership than last year’s premiere, looking to the fastest growing platform for millennial discussion, we can see overwhelming results, understanding just how audiences are engaging, and gaining rich, qualitative insights into their states of mind and interests.  

Understanding the Wealth of Community Engagement and Response

In response to the season premiere there was over a 3,000% increase in conversation volume on Tumblr alone. There were almost 200,000 posts directly leading up to the premiere.
Looking hour by hour, we can even track conversation as it progresses over the day of the premiere to understand how discussion evolves. We can see that conversation around the premiere spike earlier in the day at 4 pm, with general anticipatory conversation, while it peaks during the premiere and users are more vocal about the episode and cast members.
Through top tags, we can begin to see some of the topics that audiences are engaging with during the premiere. Beyond mentions of the show, we can see that Lady Gaga is driving the conversation, along with other cast members such as Matt Bomber and Evan Peters.
We can further break down this conversation, seeing how sub-topics of conversation progress. We can see audiences discussing different aspects related to Lady Gaga’s casting, such as the filming process, their thoughts as they’re watching, and even see them making their own creative materials in response to the episode.

Detailed Audience Insights

Zooming in on the evening of the premiere we wanted to see if there was any chance American Horror Story’s hardcore millennial fans on Tumblr would get distracted by something else other than what should be their main focus: AHS.
Looking at the affinity breakdown for the time window of the premiere, it was obvious that the Tumblr audience speaking about AHS, framed by Affinities has nothing else on their minds but the show. All the unique interests defining the AHS persona were exclusively signature property related such as Sarah Paulson, Lady Gaga, AHS. Looking at the affinities of the less engaged audience we see that they are into other shows such as Glee, Walking Dead, and Pretty Little Liars—more of the mainstream TV viewer.
There are new opportunities in order to expand AHS viewer portfolio and get engaged new audiences and Tumblr communities just like “savvy geek” persona defined through interests such as Marvel, Multi-fandom, Anime, Video Games or another viewer persona would be “mainstream pop culture fashionista” interested in Fashion, One Direction, Pop, Music, interests  that under indexed for the topic of AHS premiere.
While the opening episode of the Hotel Season is over, we can see the continued value of Tumblr in getting to the heart of millennial engagement and interest: digesting every nuance of their reaction as they were glued to screens.The millennial AHS ultra fans have been faithful to their favorite show. And the opening episode of the new Hotel season did not disappoint. Audience’s expectations building up for months before the AHS Hotel premiered  turned into rich feedback and one-of-the-kind in-the moment experience, allowing viewers to live the American Horror Story with their old and new favorite characters.
For more information on Tumblr insights through social data, view our webinar presented by SVP of Product Errol Apostolopoulos here.

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