Fans of the AMC drama Mad Men waited a long 17 months for the return of the show, which aired its fifth season premiere on Sunday, 3/25/2012. As compared with the previous week, total visits to the Mad Men page on the AMC website nearly doubled and total visits were up 21% when compared with the week ending 10/23/2010, the week of the Season 4 finale.
A portfolio of Mad Men search terms trended over a 2-year period shows two distinct peaks in searches around the Season 4 premiere (week ending 7/31/2010) and Season 4 finale (week ending 10/23/2010). A subsequent peak occurred in late March 2011 when AMC and show creator, Matthew Weiner, were in contract negotiations around the future of the show, and searches for “Mad Men deal” increased significantly during that time period. Overall searches on Mad Men terms the week leading up to the Season 5 debut were up 135% versus the previous week.
“Mad Men” and “Mad Men Season 5” were the search terms that experienced the largest increases when compared with the previous week (up 75% and 70%, respectively). During the same time period, “watch Mad Men online free” and “Mad Men season 5 trailer” emerged on the list of 10 most popular Mad Men-related search terms, indicating that fans were seeking out websites where they could catch up on the previous season and looking for a sneak peak of the upcoming season.
Search term variations around “watching episodes” of the show online reveals that in the 12 rolling weeks leading up to the season 5 launch, traffic was most likely to go to SideReel (an entertainment guide and community site for television and film enthusiasts which has limited episodes of Mad Men’s earlier seasons), followed by Blinkx (a video search engine which features clips various Mad Men videos and links to YouTube and Hulu where full length videos can be viewed). The official AMC website appears lower on the list of recipients of traffic from “watch episode” variations despite the fact that viewers can watch full episodes of the show online for free. However, in the week leading up to the Season 5 premiere, search term variations of “Mad Men” primarily sent traffic to the AMC website, followed by Wikipedia and The Internet Movie Database.
Thanks to Lauren Rice, Analyst with the Strategic Services team (and Mad Men fan!) for today’s analysis.