Welcome to the June issue of the Viacom Global Insights Digest, bringing you Viacom’s latest consumer insights from around the world.
This month, we look at the connection between preschooler tech use and safety in Brazil, a celebration of World Turtle Day, the importance of exclusive experiences to teens and young adults, dads’ struggle for more time at home, and kids’ gaming habits.
As always, the English version of our blog is home to these stories and many more. All stories are available in Spanish (LatAm) and Portuguese (Brazilian).
Like a farmer welcoming rainclouds, Trevor Noah has turned something most of us would prefer to do without – the unending tumult pouring from Washington, D.C. – into a building block for something essential: humor.
It is a resource that appears to be especially welcome at this moment of astonishing political turmoil. Last week was The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’smost watched ever, with 1.045 million total viewers, a 36 percent increase over the same week last year. The achievement nudges the program closer to recording eight consecutive months of year-over-year growth among total viewers.
Noah may have had a little help driving ratings. “Noah’s ratings run this week is most likely due in no small part to the problems plaguing Trump,” wroteVariety’s Joe Otterson, referring to the president’s dismissal of the FBI director, ongoing investigations into Russian influence in the presidential election, and other issues.
Indeed, as the pace of news has accelerated under the new administration, The Daily Show has adapted. “Things have definitely sped up,” head writer Zhubin Parang told Vulture’s Jen Chaney in February. “We used to be able to predict what the show would be the afternoon before the day, and now we just can’t ever assume that the show we have planned at 7 p.m. the night before is going to be anything like the show that’s ultimately going to air the next day.”
What Noah and team do ultimately air is unfailingly an incisive examination of the day’s headlines. When news broke early last week, for example, that President Trump disclosed classified information to high-ranking Russian officials on a White House visit, Noah was ready:
“This sounds like a story that we would invent, right?” an astonished Noah asked his audience. “Trump invites the Russians into the Oval Office, and then, in his meeting, starts bragging, ‘I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.’” Watch the full take below:
The day after that, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel – former FBI chief Robert Mueller – to investigate allegations that Trump campaign aides had colluded with Russia to influence last fall’s presidential election.
Viacom reported its Q2 2017 earnings this morning behind strong performances across our portfolio. Click through the slideshow below to see what drove our business this quarter, and to get a preview of what we’re excited about coming up. Click over to Viacom Investor Relations for more details about this quarter’s earnings.
The return of Liza (Sutton Foster), Josh (Nico Tortorella), Charles (Peter Mermann), Kelsey (Hilary Duff), Maggie (Debi Mazar), and the rest of the cast is just the latest great news to roll out of TV Land: its hit show Teachershas logged ratings records in its second season; its newest premiere, Nobodies, has already signed on for another run; and Lopez, starring George Lopez just came back for season number two.
Last time we saw Liza, a 40-something masquerading as a twenty-something corporate striver, she had just confessed her true age to friend and coworker Kelsey and blown up her relationship with her sometime-boyfriend and local tattoo artist Josh, who aborted an engagement proposal when he caught her kissing Charles, who happens to be her boss.
After speaking with more than 7,000 individuals ranging from 16 to 24 years old across 14 countries, including Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the United States, the group released its findings about how youth see themselves in the world today. Here are some of their findings:
For one, only one-fifth (21 percent) of youth have no trouble blocking out bad news, and half (53 percent) say they have a love/hate relationship with social media. This means they understand social media doesn’t accurately reflect reality, but just can’t seem to quit.
Behind a wide-ranging slate of live-action and animated shows, Nickelodeonswept ratings compilations of the top 10 children’s programs for the first quarter of 2017 among kids 2-11 and 6-11.
The accomplishment continues a torrid winning streak for Nickelodeon, which marks its third year as the top kids’ network among kids 2-11 and preschoolers. This is Nick’s seventh consecutive quarter winning those two demos, and its second in a row among kids 6-11. Ratings grew among all three demos during the quarter.
On the strength of fearless political commentary and a globally resonant perspective, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah hammered through February with record ratings, wrapping his most-watched and highest-rated month with 1.5 million viewers. International ratings shot up 22 percent.
Even in a crowded late-night talk show space brimming with talent, Noah continues to stand out, recording the only current monthly or quarterly year-over-year ratings increase in both total viewers and in the 18-49 demographic among daily late-night talk shows:
Noah’s ratings have climbed as he offers smart, incisive commentary on a bruising political landscape of fake news and alternative facts, of accusations of mass voter fraud and U.S. immigration bans. His analysis of President Donald Trump’s first week in office has been viewed nearly 5 million times on YouTube alone:
That ratings have increased even as the news cycle accelerates under the Trump Administration is a reflection of The Daily Show staff’s creative tenacity. “Things have definitely sped up,” Daily Show head writer Zhubin Parang told Slate’s Jen Chaney recently. “We used to be able to predict what the show would be the afternoon before the day, and now we just can’t ever assume that the show we have planned at 7 p.m. the night before is going to be anything like the show that’s ultimately going to air the next day.”
While Noah’s commentary frequently critiques Republican policies and actions, part of the show’s appeal is his willingness to engage guests from across the political spectrum. His December conversation with conservative television and online video host Tomi Lahren about Black Lives Matter, the meaning of the American flag, and race relations is the show’s most-watched on YouTube:
Bold conversations like these have helped propel the show’s digital and social engagement as well, with a 42 percent bump in digital views over February 2016 and more than 6 million social actions (likes, shares, comments, reactions, retweets), a best among the daily late night shows.
You can join the social conversation by following The Daily Show on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and by liking the show’s Facebook page.
As Noah continues on pace toward his best ratings quarter ever, Comedy Central has announced a new edition to its late-night lineup: American and Australian comedian Jim Jefferieswill join the network for a weekly show starting this summer. Here’s a little taste of Jefferies’ acerbic style from a Netflix special he released last year:
Below the cover of the kitchen’s slime stairs, 25 interns stand around a 10-foot rectangular blue canvas waiting for the 10-gallon buckets of slime to arrive. Phones are in hand to capture the fulfillment of our elementary school dreams. One by one interns, ready to accept the green goo, plant themselves in the middle of the blue tarp. I grab my fellow classmates’ hands. All at once, the green concoction globs over my hair and drips down my face past the wide corners of my smile. The intern to my left raises his head, letting the slime fill the rims of his glasses. We’ve done it, I thought to myself – would I really have graduated the Nickelodeon internship program if I didn’t get slimed?
As a studio built on fostering creator-driven content, backed by a culture built on more than 25 years of animation (with a little bit of slime for good measure), it’s no surprise that Nickelodeon Studio has been a staple in children’s entertainment — and the internship program is no exception.
This 10-week program provides students and recent graduates with the individual attention needed to thrive in a professional studio. Workshops and informational lunches are designed specifically to match the interests of that semester’s class. Students have the opportunity to share their time with executives, show creators, writers, artists, former interns (or “NICKterns”), and everyone in between to better understand the full scope of the studio’s pipeline and different lines of the business. Those interested in pursuing a career in writing or art can also take a multitude of current series tests – essentially a challenge to see if they can create art or scripts that match a show’s exacting style – that will be reviewed by in-house industry professionals.
The lighting-thumbed gamer diehards will nod in knowing agreement as they glance at Fast Company’s roll call of the 10 most innovative companies in gaming – streamer Twitch, gamemakers 2K and Activision Blizzard, founding father of modern gaming Nintendo. But the name at number nine might teach even the most seasoned gamer something brand new: Get Schooled, the non-profit organization whose primary mission is inspiring students to finish high school and succeed in college.
How exactly does an organization founded via a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Viacom crash a who’s who of modern gaming giants? By adopting the fearless attitude and experimental dynamic of a Silicon Valley start-up driven to solve an complex problem.
“Get Schooled has a track record of success in part because we have adopted the principles of a high performing tech start up: we value partnerships, use data to continuously improve and have learned how to fail fast,” said Marie Groark, Executive Director of Get Schooled.
Those improvements have hinged upon a bold and vast adventure into gamification, a realm that many high school students know well and require no primer to engage with. The pivot began just two years after Get Schooled launched in 2010, transforming www.getschooled.com into an immersive gamified universe, where competition, point scoring and rules have engaged millions of young people, who can cash out their points for stuff like autographed gear from NBA and NFL stars, calculators or backpacks in a rewards store sponsored by the organization.
Students can also earn scholarships, or celebrity appearances by the likes of DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj, James Harden, KeKe Palmer, Nick Cannon, Ne-Yo, Chance the Rapper and Ludacris. Check out Kendrick Lamar’s visit to Bethel High School in Alaska, a former “drop-out factory” that earned the visit by winning one of Get Schooled’s national points-based competitions: