Hitwise Makes American Idol Prediction via Search Stats

May 22, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Television | Youth & Gen X

As of the week ended May 19, American Idol’s Blake Lewis had a slight advantage over Jordin Sparks based on volume of search terms, according to Hitwise data: Going into the show’s finale on Wednesday, Blake is edging out Jordin by just 25%, whereas in the prior week his searches were 270% more numerous than Jordin’s, Hitwise said.

Hitwise’s analysis:

A greater percentage of search phrases that include Blake’s name are related to his music and song choices than are those that contain Jordin’s name:

  • Some 5.9% of search terms containing “jordin sparks” over the last four weeks refer to her physical stature, including height and even shoe size.
  • Over 3.1% of Jordin-related searches were about her father, former New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Phillipi Sparks.
  • Less than 1% of Jordin’s searches were related to her music, with the top search focused on her cover last week of “I Who Have Nothing.”

The search phrases for Blake Lewis tell another story:

  • Searches focused on the topic of sexual preference, with “blake lewis gay” accounting for 4.25% of his searches.
  • But 0.5% of his searches were for “blake lewis girlfriend.”
  • Over 3% of his searches were for “blake lewis pictures” and “blake lewis shirtless.”
  • Over 2% of his searches, double that of Jordin’s, focused on his music and beat-box style.

Searches on the two main search engines tell different stories:

  • Blake had a higher proportion of Google searches – 66% of Blake Lewis searches were on Google, 27% on Yahoo.
  • Jordin had a higher proportion of Yahoo searches than Blake – 41% of Jordin Sparks searches were on Yahoo, 53% on Google. (Yahoo Buzz is predicting that Jordin Sparks will win.)


As for Hitwise’s prediction: “It’s a tough call, but I’ll put my neck out on this one…. I predict: advantage Blake,” Hitwise General Manager of Global Research Bill Tancer said.

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