SOURCE: Nielsen BuzzMetrics

April 11, 2007 15:35 ET

Fever Around American Idol Contestant Sanjaya Malakar Is So High That Bloggers Have Dropped His Last Name

Nielsen BuzzMetrics Brand Association Map Shows Sanjaya Has Extremely High Association With Campaigns Intended to Prevent His Elimination

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 11, 2007 -- Driven by a halo of cheering fans, cringing detractors and questions over voting integrity, public captivation over American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar is massive and reflected deeply in the blogosphere.

According to Nielsen BuzzMetrics, the global measurement standard in consumer-generated media, blog references to "Sanjaya Malakar" skyrocketed 338% the week ending April 8, 2007 versus week ending February 18, 2007, when he first reached critical mass. Sanjaya fever has reached such idyllic status that bloggers now refer to him primarily by his first name only, by a factor of three to one, with references to "Sanjaya" spiking 11-fold.

"Sanjaya has quickly become a pop-culture phenomenon and is significantly influencing the volume, tenor and tone of conversation around American Idol," said Pete Blackshaw, chief marketing officer, Nielsen BuzzMetrics. "Buzz analysis can help solve the riddle of viewer engagement and fan fanaticism, as well as explain broader sources of influence, like Howard Stern, Sanjaya's de facto campaign manager, in shaping and manipulating key outcomes, as well as VoteForTheWorst.com."

Contestants, Hairdos, Attributes Drive Sanjaya Mental Associations

To better understand public sentiment and mental associations around Sanjaya, Nielsen BuzzMetrics filtered blog buzz through its Brand Association Map (BAM). By applying advanced text-mining algorithms to all American Idol blog discussion between March 19 and 30, Nielsen BuzzMetrics plotted the most important language, attributes, issues and themes about Sanjaya. With the most closely associated language nearest to the center, where the keyword "Sanjaya" resides, the BAM revealed that:

--  Sanjaya Malakar, one of the last remaining contestants, has few
    positive attributes.
--  Howard Stern and Vote for the Worst, were as closely associated to
    Sanjaya as American Idol, suggesting the two campaigns are supporting
    Sanjaya's notoriety.
--  Many bloggers agree that Sanjaya lacks talent and does not belong
    among the top contestants. Many fans think Sanjaya is making a "mockery" of
    the contest and believe it would be downright "wrong" if he won.
--  Beauty care companies are receiving an unsolicited, free dividend in
    viewer engagement around "hair" - as Sanjaya's hairdo is among the most
    associated topics.
    
Most Influential Entertainment, Celebrity Blogs Glued To Sanjaya

While Sanjaya has lured the attention of millions, he's especially captured it from the more influential entertainment, television and celebrity gossip blogs. Reality TV Magazine, Rickey.org, cityrag and Defamer are among the most influential blogs covering Sanjaya, based on the volume of other blogs discussing Sanjaya, and linking in since January 1, 2007.

                            Nielsen BuzzMetrics
              Blogs Most Cited by Other Blogs Discussing "Sanjaya"
                            01/01/07 – 04/08/07

Rank          Blog/Blog URL                     Total Blog      Total Blogs
                                              Posts Linking In  Linking In
1   Reality TV Magazine
    http://www.realitytvmagazine.com/blog           63             40
2   rickey.org - American Idol 24/7
    http://www.rickey.org                           45             27
3   cityrag http://cityrag.blogs.com/main           63             25
4   Defamer, the L.A. Gossip Rag
    http://www.defamer.com                          39             24
5   A Socialite's Life http://socialitelife.com     53             23
6   TV Squad http://www.tvsquad.com                 21             18
7   reality blurred + the reality TV news digest
    http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv         13             13
8   TVgasm: The Best Recaps, News and Gossip
    in Television http://www.tvgasm.com             18             12
9   Jossip - Celebrity + Media + Manhattan
    news and gossip http://www.jossip.com           21             11
10  The Bastardly http://www.bastardly.com          20             11
Sign Up For Free Seminar

To learn more about consumer-generated media, please sign up for Nielsen BuzzMetrics' CGM 101 Webinar: Intro To The Blogosphere, scheduled for Friday, April 20. To register and learn about additional educational resources, please visit http://www.nielsenbuzzmetrics.com/webinars.asp.

About Nielsen BuzzMetrics

The Nielsen BuzzMetrics service, marketed by BuzzMetrics, Inc., is the global standard in measuring consumer-generated media and word of mouth. Nielsen BuzzMetrics helps more than 100 leading global companies interpret and leverage the buzz surrounding them -- clients like Canon, Comcast, Ford, General Motors, HBO, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia, P&G, Sony, Target and Toyota, as well as the top 15 pharmaceutical concerns. Partners include the world's largest marketing-services firms, and innovative new-marketing agencies. The company has also collaborated with distinguished research organizations such as the Pew Internet and American Life Project. BuzzMetrics, Inc. is a subsidiary of The Nielsen Company, owner of such renowned research names as ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research. For more information, visit www.nielsenbuzzmetrics.com.

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