Decrease in Viewership Means Networks Cutting Back


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The effect of spoilers & Soapdom's recaps and sneak peaks

Soapdom's Linda Marshall-SmithGet acquainted with Soapdom.com and our Inside the Bubble features at New to Soapdom. Those who were registered before are registered at Soapdom.com but some privileges may have changed. Check what FREE registration means at Soapdom.com in the New to Soapdom section.It's our pleasure to take you way, way down inside the bubble at Soapdom.com. Where soap operas rule!

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Hi Suds Buds:

Last week I touched upon the fact that networks are cutting back the release of advance story material, especially to internet sites. It seems that some webmasters are deviating from the responsible dissemination of advance material, publishing it at will before it’s official schedule for release. 

This tactic may have driven traffic to their websites, but is has also cost networks viewership.  Why bother tuning in to see what happens when you can read all about it in great detail on some soaps website?

Back on April 13, 2001 there were a total of 12,050,000 viewers watching soaps on a weekly basis, according to Neilson reporting.  The week of November 6, 2003, two and one half years later, there were only 10, 840,000.  That’s a loss of 1,210,000 million viewers!  Granted some viewers leave when story doesn’t go their way, or when their favorite actor’s contract isn’t renewed, but much of the exodus could be attributed to too much information available on the internet.

Soapdom has been working diligently with ABC, NBC and CBS for over four years (first as Turtle-Run, and now as Soapdom.com) to secure recap and sneak peek information to share with you.  We work with advance material to encourage you to tune in to see what’s going to happen next.  We try never to give it all away, even when we know it, because the point is for you to watch and enjoy as it unfolds in real time on your TV set. 

Atwtfan12 posted on the Soapdom message boards about this issue.  She comments:

“Generally, I check the recaps ahead of time on the net to see if my favorite characters/actors were on or not and if they are, and even if I know what happened, I'll still tune in to see the actual scenes.

“If my favorite characters/actors aren't on, I'll just read the recap and leave it at that, only I will rewind the tape to the last 5 to 10 minutes because at the end of my soap, it shows scenes for the next day and I'll see if my favorites will be on the next day.” 

So, for atwtfan12, if she finds out that her favorite couples aren’t on that day, she won’t necessarily feel driven to tune in.  One viewer gone for the day, unless her favorite characters are frontburner that day.  When she knows ahead of time whether they are front burner, she can choose not to watch if they aren’t on.

For Rrob254, reading spoilers doesn’t stop her from tuning in.  “I still tune in to watch Passions even though most of the time I know what is going to happen. I have noticed with the spoilers that they are mostly right but sometimes things slip in that they didn't know. Also sometimes it happens a little differently. Not to mention if it's good like the LA storyline I want to watch it everyday because just reading about it isn't the same.”

What do spoilers mean to you? Do you stop tuning in if you know what’s going to happen?  Let me know in the Criticize the Critic folder on the Soapdom Message Boards .

The current trend with many of the shows is to cut back on what they are releasing, or the form in which they are releasing it.  As the World Turns and Guiding Light, for example, have recently stopped releasing daily recaps. Now, they release the same information, but in the form of a weekly summary.  All My Children, General Hospital and One Life to Live will only release daily recap material to very few websites, and only late in the week that the shows are airing.  Passions has severely cut back on their daily recap material.  And Soapdom is still working toward getting the powers that be at B&B and Y&R to release advance storyline material to us. 

Have you noticed a lull in the amount of advance information available online as of late? Let me know in the Criticize the Critic folder on the Soapdom Message Boards .

In the meantime, thanks to our long time and trusted relationship with the networks and production companies, Soapdom will continue to offer recaps and sneak peeks, releasing the information in a responsible fashion and encouraging you to tune in to see the story unfold in real time.  Be sure to check today’s newsletter for our published schedule of releasing story material.  The Soapdom News will go out later this evening and will bear tomorrow’s date, November 18, 2003.  Watch your email box.

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Member Tip:  Please select a favorite soap in your member profile.  If you are about to register or subscribe, just select your favorite soap during the registration/subscription process.  If you are already a registered member who is upgrading to all access paid status, log in to Soapdom.  Then, look for the “Member Profile” tab on the left of the page, AFTER log in. (You will only see the Member Profile tab after you’ve logged in.)  Open Member Profile and click “edit profile settings.”  Select either Days or Guiding Light as your favorite soap. 

In fact, everyone -- registered and subscribed members and new members alike -- should select a favorite soap in your member profile. If you are a fan of more than one soap, choose the one that you enjoy the most.  We will be offering more promotions for the various soaps, and if you tell us what your favorite soap is in your member profile, you will be notified about future show-specific promotions before anyone else! 

Coming SOON to Soapdom.com

Til the top of next week,


Linda Marshall-Smith
QueenRuler
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

What do YOU think?  Share your thoughts in the "Criticize the Critic" forum  on the Soapdom.com Message Boards or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it