If the Emmys Were Judged by YouTube Views…

/ Sep 22, 2013


The Emmys are tonight, and as you are well-aware by now, it could be a big moment for the web video industry if “House of Cards” takes home any of the awards it has been nominated for. As unlikely as that is — it’s going to be hard to beat the quartet of “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Homeland” — a lot of people will be looking into see if Netflix’s political drama makes any noise.

If the Emmys were decided by YouTube views, though, “House of Cards” would still have trouble taking home any hardware tonight. According to a report released by ZEFR this week, “Game of Thrones” is the most popular Outstanding Drama Series nominee on YouTube. HBO’s fantasy-epic series has over 276 million views and more than 5.9 million “social actions” (likes, dislikes, and comments). In fact, “House of Cards” generated the least number of views (over 8 million) and social actions (over 212,000) compared to the other Outstanding Drama nominees. If you’re a TV executive looking to take a shot at Netflix and its “new business model,” then this data would serve you very well.

ZEFR’s YouTube data covers official videos as well as clips uploaded by fans.

Here’s how some of the other major awards categories would play out if determined by YouTube views and engagement:

  • Outstanding Comedy Series: “The Big Bang Theory” (111+ million views)
  • Best Actor — Drama: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (28+ million views)
  • Best Actress — Drama: Kerry Washington, “Scandal” (18+ million views)
  • Best Actor — Comedy: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (47+ million views)
  • Best Actress — Comedy: Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (19.9+ million views)

It’s hardly surprising that the most popular shows on TV are also the most popular on YouTube, but interesting nonetheless when so much of the Emmy conversation has been about Netflix’s disruptive business model.

The Emmys will be broadcast live from LA on CBS tonight, beginning at 8pm ET. I’ll be watching them*, and looking forward to seeing who wins. If “House of Cards” does take home the top prize, then it’ll be something worth talking about (and everyone will).

Meanwhile, if you’re the type to watch red carpet shows and really (for some reason) want to watch the Emmys red carpet online, you can do so on Yahoo, which also plans to provide backstage interviews during the telecast. Enjoy.

* Except from 9pm to 10:15pm ET, when you, I, and everyone we know should be watching the penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad.”

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