Is the Future of TV Oprah's OWN? Streaming Netflix? Your IPad?

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week Tackles the Latest Talk on TV

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The TV industry has been undergoing epic transformation for years now, but a number of new seismic shifts has everyone trying to figure it all out again lately.

Oprah is embracing cable with the recent launch of her Oprah Winfrey Network.
Oprah is embracing cable with the recent launch of her Oprah Winfrey Network. Credit: Harpo Productions, Inc.
One much-hyped big shift, of course, is Oprah Winfrey's embrace of cable with the launch of her Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, on Jan. 1.

A more gradual -- but still rapid -- shift has been the transformation of Netflix from a primarily DVD-by-mail service to one of the biggest streaming-video services on the planet.

And with the launch of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, kicking off today with a "preshow keynote" from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, expect nonstop news coverage about the next generation of iPad-wannabe tablets, all of which are further expanding the idea of television as something that streams wirelessly wherever and whenever you want it. Just this morning Comcast said it plans to offer live TV streaming on tablets this year.

So for this week's Trendrr charticle -- a collaboration between Advertising Age and social-media tracking service Trendrr -- we decided to parse the conversation surrounding Oprah, Netflix, C.E.S. and the iPad on Twitter. Who cares about what? Read on.

  • One important note about Netflix before I serve up some Twitter stats. Netflix comprises 20% of download traffic during peak times in North America, as Slate technology columnist Farhad Manjoo reported in November, citing data from network management company Sandvine. "That's an amazing share -- it beats that of YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and, perhaps most tellingly, the peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent, which accounts for a mere 8 percent of bandwidth during peak hours," Manjoo wrote.
  • Over the past 30 days, "Oprah" has been name-checked in about 9,000 tweets a day, with peaks of 21,228 on Dec. 9, when Oprah outed herself as a non-lesbian in an interview with Barbara Walters, and 15,425 on Jan. 1, when OWN launched.
  • Trendrr chart

    Recent hourly tweet volume for the iPad (maroon), Oprah (orange), Netflix (green) and CES (tan).

  • The Twittersphere is getting super excited about CES. Over the past 30 days, "CES" has appeared in about 6,000 tweets a day, but yesterday there were 39,789 Twitter posts name-checking the dorkfest -- which, remember, hasn't even officially started yet.
  • Over the past 30 days, "Netflix" has averaged around 5,500 tweets per day, with a recent peak of 8,538 yesterday.
  • New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the three cities that tweet the most about both the iPad and Netflix. (CES tweets are a moving target at the moment -- but Las Vegas, no surprise, is surging.) And the single most Oprah-tweeting city? Yep, Chicago.
  • More than three-fifths of tweets about CES, the iPad and Netflix are from guys (with CES skewing the most male, at 68%). Flip that ratio for Oprah.
  • Finally, the Twittersphere can't shut the hell up about the iPad. Over the past 30 days, "iPad" has appeared in an average of 60,000 tweets per day (a lot of people gave and got them for Christmas, apparently), with a peak yesterday of 63,985. Kind of makes you wonder why there's no SJN -- Steve Jobs Network -- on cable yet.

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Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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