Fun Facts from Nielsen Media

The Nielsen company recently sent out a compilation of it’s American Idol research to the press. I thought I’d round up a few of the interesting factoids here for fun.

A few of my observations: Notice that popularity online doesn’t necessarily translate to popularity with the voters. Also, American Idol has an audience that skews a bit older with 29% of the total audience between the ages of 35-49. The tweaks for next year promised by FOX executives at the upfronts will surely include attempts to woo back younger viewers. No wonder Simon Cowell wants to lower the audition age to 14. The ratings chart of viewers by geographical region explains why the American Idol tour avoids the central-west region year after year–the show isn’t nearly as popular there as it is in the East and Pacific Northwest. My updated ratings chart.

Check out the list after the Jump…

  • People age 35-49 watched American Idol Season 7 the most, making up almost 29% of the total audience.
  • Kelly Clarkson is the best selling American Idol contestant with album and digital download sales of 18.9 million. Carrie Underwood is second with album and digital download sales of 15.7 million.
  • Male contestants David Cook, David Archuleta and Jason Castro dominate the show’s consumer discussion online with 14.3% and 12.5% and 10.5% buzz volume, respectively. Brooke White continues to be included in conversations after being voted off two weeks ago with 7.5% buzz volume, while Syesha Mercado trails with 5.4%, more than two times less the amount of buzz compared with Cook and Archuleta.
  • The most popular American Idol contestant from opinions and feedback from Hey! Nielsen’s online panel is Carrie Underwood.
  • David Archuleta is this season’s most popular according to
  • American Idol’s highest viewership was Season 5, where more than 30 million people watched on average, compared to 12 million the first season and 27 million this current season.
  • The most watched American Idol episode ever was the final hour of Season 2 on Wednesday, 5/21/2003 — more than 38 million viewers tuned in live to watch the face off between winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken.
  • The Southeast part of the United States has the highest viewing levels above the national average, while the southwest has the lowest viewing levels below average.
  • During 2007, American Idol featured 4, 349 product placement occurrences. So far in 2008, the number of placements is surging — the program racked up 3, 291 occurrences the first three months of 2008 alone.
About mj santilli 34702 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!