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Archive | Genealogy Industry

21 March 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Genealogy and Gasoline Prices

At first glance, you might ask, “Is there really any connection between genealogy and gas prices?” And then you realize that increasing gas prices in the United States really have an impact on pretty much everything. If a consumer must allocate more money towards gas prices, then other areas of spending will suffer. In the alternative, the consumer might cut back on automobile travel in order to maintain current spending levels for other items.

But let’s look at the impact of rising gas prices on the genealogy industry and some possible trends to be spotted in the future, especially in Summer 2011:

  • A decrease in genealogy research trips.  With the high cost of gasoline and the fact that most genealogy research trips are done via automobile, we could see a cutback of such trips. Also, some genealogists have already indicated that even if they cutback on the number of trips, they might take one or two longer trips rather than several shorter trips. This makes sense since consumers naturally migrate towards “combining trips” even when running errands around town.
  • An increase in ride sharing for genealogy conferences. Already two major genealogy conferences (FGS 2011 and SCGS Jamboree) have announced the availability of ride sharing via RideBuzz. This makes sense especially with many attendees driving from the same location.
  • An increase in online genealogy website traffic. Although it is difficult to determine this by looking at website traffic number for Ancestry.com and other sites (since there are many other impacting factors such as WDYTYA), many researchers might opt to fully explore what is available online before they set off on that research trip.
  • An increase in online webinars and meetings. February and March 2011 have already seen an explosion in webinars (see Geneawebinars for a list of upcoming webinars). So far, there has been no real impact on live speaking engagements by genealogy speakers. But look for more genealogical societies to begin embracing webinars and web conferences to hold virtual meetings rather than in-person meetings. Already, FGS is doing this for their board and committee meetings at a great savings to the society.
  • Higher prices for shipping online genealogy purchases. It is only a matter of time before we see shipping and handling costs increase when buying books, CDs and the like. This might cause some publishers to offer an e-book alternative that can be downloaded immediately with no shipping costs involved.

What other areas of the genealogy industry do you think will be impacted by rising gas prices?

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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07 February 2011 ~ Comments Off

Impact of WDYTYA on Ancestry.com Stock

Cannacord|Genuity is one of several financial firms which have begun tracking Ancestry.com‘s stock performance (the ticker symbol is ACOM) with recommendations for its clients based on their analysts’ research.

This morning Cannacord issued one of its research reports for ACOM entitled WDYTYA Season 2 – Solid Start. It is an interesting read, especially this information:

  • Cannacord places Ancestry.com in the Technology – Internet Solutions – eCommerce market.
  • A valuation target of $40 per share has been set for ACOM stock.
  • WDYTYA also aired simultaneously in Canada on Friday evening. I am still researching Canadian television ratings and will post any information I can find.
  • Cannacord uses an interesting “celebrity scale” based on search results from Google Trends. While Vanessa Williams was rated at 28%, and Tim McGraw at 100% I find it interesting that Season 1’s episode for Emmitt Smith was one of the highest rated despite his 8% celebrity rank.
  • There does seem to be a “subscriber lift” at Ancestry.com due to not only the original airings of WDYTYA but the brief re-airing season in August and September 2010.

Also note that Cannacord used several of my Season 1 WDYTYA ratings charts and tables in their report.

[Disclosure Statement: Cannacord|Genuity contacted me and requested permission to use my ratings analysis and tracking information for Season 1 of Who Do You Think You Are? for which there was no compensation .  See the Disclosure Statements page for a list of all material connections I have with genealogy-related vendors.]

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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05 February 2011 ~ Comments Off

Who Do You Think You Are? Ratings – Season 2 Episode 1 Vanessa Williams

These are the overnight ratings for last evening’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Vanessa Williams 1:

  • Total viewers: 7.32 million
  • 18-49 age group rating: 1.3
  • 18-49 age share: 4.5 (average of both 30 minute time slots)
  • Time slot rank: 2
  • Evening rank: 6

Analysis

  • The 7.32 million viewers was a record for the entire WDYTYA series including all episodes from the first season. 2 3
  • WDYTYA did come in second in its timeslot for the evening.
  • Results may be skewed by the fact that the over 50 age group is not accounted for in the overnight ratings and they make up the majority of the genealogy and family history demographic.
  • Also not yet available, is any breakout among the African-American demographic. This is important since Williams is the lead off episode during Black History Month. In Season 1 of WDYTYA, the most popular episode in number of viewers was Emmitt Smith, another African-American celebrity. 4

Notes

1 The “overnight ratings” are from the major metropolitan areas. Normally, a follow-up adjustment appears with the final ratings.  In most cases any changes between the overnight and final ratings are minor.

2 Source: The Futon Staff Critic, “Friday’s Broadcast Ratings: NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Returns With a Series High” The Futon Critic,(http://www.thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2011/02/05/fridays-broadcast-ratings-nbcs-who-do-you-think-you-are-returns-with-a-series-high-499305/broadcast_20110204/), accessed 5 February 2011.

3 Source: Marc Berman, “Last Night’s Results for February 4, 2011,” The Programming Insider, MediaWeek (http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/63310451/m/140108053) accessed 5 February 2011. Note: Berman does point out that DVR usage has impacted ratings with a change from 33% market penetration in 2010 to 38% so far in 2011.

4 Source: Porter, Rick, “TV Ratings: “‘Numb3rs’ finale leads CBS Friday” ZAP2it.com, Tribune Media Services, (http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2010/03/tv-ratings-numb3rs-finale-leads-cbs-friday.html), accessed 13 March 2010.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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