Choosing Wisely – The X Factor vs I’m a Celebrity

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Well, reality show season has ended again. Last November, two popular reality series were back: I’m a Celebrity (a.k.a. Celebrity Jungle) and The X Factor. Despite both of them appearing to generate engagement with your audience, through our analysis we find out which one you should invest your time and resources in to increase readership next season.


Seasonality & other variants


Every year reality shows release a new season and lead people to watch every week until the final winner is announced. In 2017, The X Factor’s final episode was watched by 4.4 million viewers when Rak-Su was declared the winner and I’m a Celebrity made 11.2 million viewers stick to their TVs waiting for the first season episode. Led by these impressive numbers, publishers produce content trying to reach those viewers and bring value to them. We ran the numbers on a popular entertainment site in Ireland and in the chart below you can find how many articles were produced during both shows back in 2016.


Total of published articles

Total of published articles


However, because these shows are brief and seasonal, publishers have to work around the clock to produce as much content as they can during the broadcast period. For example, The X Factor matters to readers from September to December, and I’m A celebrity aires during November. Outside this period the topic doesn’t receive a lot of attention, having a lower amount of user activity.


Does writing more increase engagement?


So why is this important to know? The results of our topic analysis show: Not all topics you write about deliver equal results. Even if you produce the same amount of content about The X Factor and I’m a Celebrity, readers have a different preference. Take a look at the chart below. Considering the start date for both shows The X Factor (27 August 2016) and I’m a Celebrity (13 November 2016), the former holds the largest amount of page views, having a large peak from mid-season until the season finale. On the other hand, even though I’m a Celebrity takes off much faster, in comparison, the overall page views are lower.


Readership comparison between I'm a Celebrity and The X Factor

Readership comparison between I’m a Celebrity and The X Factor

So what did we learn?


Even though both shows create a buzz among their audience and break their own viewer records every season, it may not be wise to invest your time and efforts in a topic that doesn’t create engagement with your readers. So before weekly planning meetings, take a look at historical topic performance – in this case sticking with The X Factor would bring 3x more user sessions. Also, our data shows user’s engagement outside of the shows season is very low, hence, publishing articles upfront doesn’t get the same ROI.


Using Readersight’s big data insights you can analyze your reader’s preferences and understand which topics you can write about that create more engagement. Bringing popular content to your readers will always lead to audience acquisition, however knowing which topics give you more bang for your buck is key. If you want to know more about our methodology here.


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