We made a major data driven decision every week on The Late Late Show.
Our source data was the show viewing figures.
All RTE programme makers live and die by the ratings.
Even though everyone says ratings don’t matter they are all that matters.
Share of available audience is the only metric that counts.
In my Late Late show days we got a quarter hour breakdown.
Despite this the show’s actual rating was based on the whole two hours.
We pored over the figures every week to examine one core piece of data.
How many people switched off at 11pm.
If we lost too many people at this point our average figure plummeted.
We had to wait three days to get this data and used it to shape the running order for the next show.
We A/B tested all manner of tricks week in, week out.
– Running the ads at 10.50.
– Putting our best guest on at 10.45 and keeping them on until 11.15.
– Holding the big prize result until 11.30.
The next time you find yourself watching The Late Late Show see who they stick on at 10.50.
One of my proudest moments was when I ended up as a guest on The Late Late Show and was scheduled for that crucial slot.
Apps now get much richer data in real time.
We all have the option to react, test and iterate constantly.
Collecting data isn’t enough.
If you’re not reacting to it what’s the point?
You have to be honest with yourself about what you find, something Gay was never shy about.
Each week we could see whether an item kept viewers engaged enough to not go to bed.
Ignore the data at your fingertips if you wish but you can save yourself a lot of time by heeding it.
We all need to learn 24/7 from the feedback available to us.
No matter what any of use are using tech for we’re all competing for the same thing.