The Oscars Were a Bust Compared to Last Year

By Karen Fratti 

According to Nielsen, over 13 million people saw tweets about Oscars over 800 million times. Some of the moments of high traffic, or tweets per minute, were Lady Gaga’s performance and Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech. On Facebook, the same social story played out, with Lady Gaga driving the conversation, and best actor and best picture awards close behind.

The top moments and mentions according to Twitter were: 

  • Lady Gaga performs, is joined by Julie Andrews
  • Alejandro Iñárritu wins Best Picture for “Birdman”
  • Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech for winning Best Supporting Actress
  • “Birdman”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “Boyhood”

The top moments on Facebook: 

  • Lady Gaga performs medley from “The Sound of Music” and Julie Andrews appears onstage for the 50th anniversary of the musical
  • “The Imitation Game” wins Best Adapted Screenplay
  • “Birdman” Wins Best Original Screenplay
  • Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor
  • “Birdman” wins Best Picture
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu wins Best Director for “Birdman”
  • Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress
  • John Legend & Common’s song “Glory” wins Best Original Song
  • Julianne Moore wins Best Actress
  • Adam Levine & Maroon 5 perform “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”


But all of that traffic is nothing compared to last year, where the same size audience of about 13,900,000 saw 11,163,000 tweets. The “Ellen Selfie” being a top moment in 2014, with 700,000 retweets in a half of an hour.

While it’s never shabby to have 800 million impressions of anything, the social story shows that last year’s awards were just more fun. You can plan that kind social activity. In fact, the more you recreate “spontaneous” the worse it looks. It’s a catch-22 of authenticity and marketing: if you don’t have those “moments,” you don’t get the tangible results of social chatter. You try and manufacture it by sending the host out in his underwear and teasing seat fillers, it’s a snooze fest.

It could also be that this year’s awards were more serious in nature. With the “Selma” snub and #AskHerMore on the Red Carpet, people were talking about things other than JLaw photobombing stars. There was in general, less silliness. And live-blogging awards season is anything but serious. Take note for next year: more celebs, less social justice. If you’re into that sort of thing.