The impact of online word-of-mouth on television show viewership: An inverted U-shaped temporal dynamic
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This article examines the dynamic impact of online word-of-mouth (WOM) on US television show viewership. With WOM data collected from the Internet Movie Database website, we find that the cumulative volume of online WOM has significant explanatory power for viewership over time. Consistent with the mere exposure effect theory, the dynamic impact of the volume of online WOM over time varies according to a curvilinear, inverted U-shaped curve. Due to an initial floor effect, the volume of WOM is not significant in the early episodes. The impact of volume increases over time, before peaking and starting to decrease in the latter part of a show’s life. This article demonstrates the differential effects of online WOM over time and thereby suggests that firms’ online marketing strategies, such as media planning, must adjust with the product life cycle.
KeywordsInternet marketing Word-of-mouth Online consumer reviews Television shows
The author wishes to acknowledge the support of the AFNOR Chaire Performance des Organisations of the Foundation of Paris-Dauphine. The author would also like to thank Beatrice Parguel, Manuel Cartier and the participants in the Paris Dauphine ERMES seminar, the 2013 BPF Camp in HEC Paris, and the 2013 Marketing Science Conference.
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