why american idol is so popularIt's the most popular show in North America, and nothing else even comes close.
It embarrassed the Grammies this year when the two were aired on the same night, and in the finale the other day, 63.4 million votes came pouring in to help decide a winner. As Ryan Seacrest announced on the show, that's more votes than any Presidential candidate in the history of the U.S. (Watch the language there, more than any one candidate; not more than the whole election)
Some fans have bragged about voting as many as 100 times each, making some people think that the number of votes is somehow less relevant. I disagree. My wife and I have watched every season, but have yet to vote. WE DO however share our opinions back-and-forth and try to predict what the voting outcome will be. And thanks(?) to her diligence, we hardly ever miss an episode.
Why? Why would I, being of sane mind and body, tune into American Idol along with millions of others, helping make it more of a cultural phenomenon than just another TV show?
Because American Idol does what every other company on the planet should be doing. It gives the audience a voice. It brings them into the discussion, and make their opinions matter.
Taylor Hicks' soulful swagger and Katherine McPhee's physical attributes aside, the reason why fans are so rabid for the show and have put it on top is because it's interactive. As consumers, we want to be involved. We want to be heard. At the very least, we want some proof that our opinions and feedback aren't just falling on deaf ears.
It gives us something to think about when we're running our own businesses:
How can you invent a model that will work in your company? To involve the most loyal of your customers, bring them into the discussion and reap the benefits of their feedback and conversation?
Want people to tell ten friends about your business? Give them something to talk about. Sometimes all you have to do is talk to them at all, (and listen!) and the rest will take care of itself.
Idol fans Bonus link:: JD has made peace with Kellie Pickler, and she wrote back!