Introduction

One result of the rapid evolution of media technology is a major shift in how users view media content - a shift that established rating systems are not yet able to accurately reflect. The development of new viewing platforms and increased internet penetration have both altered existing consumers' viewing habits and made content available to new viewers. Traditional, outdated rating systems fail to capture the demographic and geographic breadth of media consumers and the changes in how they view content. Media consumers increasingly demand content be accessible at their convenience and not necessarily on a television screen; that shift will continue to change the way television audiences view programming. While The Nielsen Company is beginning to include non-traditional viewership in its reporting, this development is coming too slowly. This project seeks to address the disparity between traditional ratings and actual viewing trends for the Syfy serialized sciencefiction drama Warehouse 13.

This report presents a summary of data from a survey taken by viewers of Warehouse 13. It is designed to provide a more-accurate picture of viewership demographics and the methods those viewers use to watch Warehouse 13. Responses were solicited online by accessing fan communities through social networking sites such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other media outlets.

PARTICIPANT DEMOGRAPHICS

The sample was composed of 4,540 Warehouse 13 viewers (female = 3,102, male = 1,290, did not identify = 148). For age intervals, see Figure 1. U.S. residents comprised 65.64% of participants (n = 2980); participants in the United Kingdom accounted for 9.27% (n = 421) and Canada, 5.86% (n = 266). For further residency demographics, see Figure 2. The rest of this report and analysis will discuss results from U.S. respondents only. The complete list of participating countries is listed as Appendix A.

PRIMARY METHOD OF VIEWING: U.S. RESPONDENTS

A significant purpose of this survey was to explore how Warehouse 13 viewers watched the show, including the primary method by which respondents viewed Warehouse 13. While live viewing was still the most common method listed across all age groups (30.57%, n = 911), followed by DVR+1 (19.77%, n = 589), online viewing through legal, ad-supported sites such as Syfy.com or Hulu was the third most common (15.94%, n = 475). Other internet-based options such as Netflix (9.23%, n = 275) and purchasing season passes from Amazon or iTunes (4.23%, n = 126) were also popular (see Figure 3).

Further, as detailed in Figure 4, when the internet-based viewing options were combined (including legal streaming, Netflix, iTunes or Amazon, and illegal streaming and downloading) they represented the primary viewing method for the greatest number of participants (35.40%, n = 1055).

In other words, the most common way U.S. participants viewed Warehouse 13 was some form of online viewing, not live broadcast.

Unsurprisingly, significant differences in viewing habits appeared when age was accounted for. As apparent in Figure 5, the difference is even more pronounced for the younger demographic where live viewing was the primary method of viewership for only 32.07% (n = 405) of participants but online options were the primary method of viewing for 45.91% (n = 580) of participants.

While participants in the 26-45 age group were almost as likely to choose DVR+1 (24.24%, n = 303) as live broadcast (26.08%, n = 326) for their primary method of viewing, participants in the younger age group were more likely to choose legal streaming services such as Hulu or Syfy.com (19.95%, n = 252) than DVR +1 (13.54%, n = 171). This age group was also equally as likely to choose Netflix as their primary viewing method (13.54%, n = 171). For a comparison of primary viewing methods across the age groups, see Figure 6.

The survey also asked participants to list all the ways they viewed Warehouse 13. Figure 7 illustrates that after live viewing, participants were mostly likely to choose legal streaming options or Netflix, further highlighting the shift to online platforms.

OTHER CONTENT AND PROMOTION

The rest of this summary will focus on results pertaining to extra content and promotion of the show. Of U.S. respondents, 51.01% (n = 1520) said they had viewed the Warehouse 13 webisodes "Of Monsters and Men" and "Grand Designs." (The survey was designed before Toyota's "Timeout" comic was published on Syfy.com).

Of the 43.56% (n = 1298) who had not seen the webisodes (no answer = 5.44%, n = 162) the significant majority reported not viewing them because they were not aware the content existed. Most participants (81.44%, n = 2,427) indicated they would watch more content like the webisodes if it were available to them. The current insufficiency of marketing avenues targeting the show's web-only content illustrates not only a missed opportunity for the network to push new users to the televised show and draw current viewers online, but also the presence of an underutilized platform for sponsors to reach broader audiences.

Another question (see Figure 8) aimed at understanding the effectiveness of current promotional efforts asked participants how they learned of Warehouse 13. While many (40.23%, n = 1199) answered they had seen an episode on the Syfy network, 27.82% (n = 829) reported that they had the show recommended to them by a friend or family member. Put simply, more than a quarter of U.S. respondents discovered the show through word of mouth. This statistic and the response rate of the survey as a whole indicate Warehouse 13 has not only has not only a larger audience than traditional ratings describe, but one that is active in promoting the show.

OVERVIEW OF DATA NOT INCLUDED

Other data collected by the survey but not reported in this summary includes whether participants would purchase episodes from an online source (such as iTunes) legally if they were presented within a certain time frame; whether participants would watch ad-supported content online (i.e. on Hulu) if it were available to them within a certain time frame; and the reasons participants have chosen to illegally stream or download episodes. These questions were also designed to showcase Warehouse 13's global audience, many of whom would be willing to pay for content if it was available to them sooner after the U.S. broadcast.

Further questions asked which other Syfy shows participants routinely watched, and whether they are watching and playing Defiance. Respondents were also asked "Why do you watch Warehouse 13?" and allowed to answer in long essay format. 82.21% (n = 2450) of respondents answered. That qualitative data was also included in final dataset.

Analysis

Fans of science fiction shows have long held -- often deserved -- reputations as geeks and nerds; people who love their gadgets and embrace technology. The data presented by this survey suggest that the Warehouse 13 audience is increasingly embracing multiple viewing platforms and that online viewing methods are supplementing or even supplanting live broadcast viewing.

DVR rates illustrate the growth of modern user-oriented, "as desired" media consumption habits. The middle age group (26-45), those participants most likely to hold full time jobs, had the highest rate of DVR use, with 40.16% (n = 502) of participants listing DVR as their primary method of viewing, compared to 31.84% (n = 398) who listed online methods and only 26.08% (n = 326) who listed watching live as the primary way they viewed Warehouse 13. The youngest age group -- the future target demographic for advertisers -- is also more inclined to utilize online methods of viewing, legal or not, and traditional rating systems do not account for these views.

Conclusion

As technology evolves and users increasingly choose to access content in nontraditional ways, the television industry must adapt to count all distribution models and to account for changes in viewing habits. The collection of viewership information needs to be platform independent, or cable companies will continue to make decisions based on incomplete and inaccurate data.

Warehouse 13 viewers increasingly access the show and supporting content on a variety of platforms not constrained to traditional cable subscriptions. The Nielsen Company ratings do not represent the number of fans the show has and should not be the only metric by which viewers are counted. It is our hope this independently conducted survey has highlighted the discrepancies in Nielsen rating data and provided a clearer picture of who is watching Warehouse 13, and how they are viewing it.

Thank you for your consideration, and please renew Warehouse 13.

Appendices

Appendix A: Participation by country

Country

Frequency

Percent

United States of America

2980

65.64%

United Kingdom

421

9.27%

Canada

266

5.86%

Australia

199

4.38%

Germany

101

2.22%

France

41

0.90%

China

39

0.86%

Spain

31

0.68%

Sweden

31

0.68%

Italy

30

0.66%

New Zealand

29

0.64%

Ireland

25

0.55%

Netherlands

24

0.53%

Norway

23

0.51%

Philippines

22

0.48%

Brazil

21

0.46%

Belgium

20

0.44%

Argentina

11

0.24%

Finland

11

0.24%

Portugal

11

0.24%

Switzerland

11

0.24%

Austria

10

0.22%

Poland

10

0.22%

Russian Federation

10

0.22%

Chile

9

0.20%

Czech Republic

9

0.20%

Denmark

9

0.20%

Taiwan

8

0.18%

Croatia

7

0.15%

Hong Kong

7

0.15%

Malaysia

7

0.15%

South Africa

7

0.15%

Greece

6

0.13%

Israel

6

0.13%

Hungary

5

0.11%

Romania

5

0.11%

Singapore

5

0.11%

Slovenia

5

0.11%

Other

5

0.11%

Colombia

4

0.09%

India

4

0.09%

Japan

4

0.09%

Mexico

4

0.09%

Puerto Rico

3

0.07%

Turkey

3

0.07%

Estonia

2

0.04%

Iceland

2

0.04%

Indonesia

2

0.04%

Malta

2

0.04%

Saudi Arabia

2

0.04%

Serbia

2

0.04%

Trinidad and Tobago

2

0.04%

Ukraine

2

0.04%

Uruguay

2

0.04%

Venezuela

2

0.04%

Bahrain

1

0.02%

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1

0.02%

Brunei Darussalam

1

0.02%

Bulgaria

1

0.02%

Cambodia

1

0.02%

Costa Rica

1

0.02%

Dominican Republic

1

0.02%

Egypt

1

0.02%

Guatemala

1

0.02%

Jamaica

1

0.02%

Kenya

1

0.02%

Latvia

1

0.02%

Lithuania

1

0.02%

Luxembourg

1

0.02%

Mauritius

1

0.02%

Panama

1

0.02%

South Korea

1

0.02%

Thailand

1

0.02%

United States Minor Outlying Islands

1

0.02%

Zimbabwe

1

0.02%

Other

1

0.02%