When NBC told Conan O’Brien he would no longer host the Tonight Show, the network didn’t fire him so much as give the comedian $40 million to leave the confines of beautiful downtown Burbank to go on tour, discover Twitter, sign a deal with TBS for his own brand new late night show, and develop a fantastic internet presence. (It’s so good TBS doesn’t even have its own site for the show. Instead, the link on TBS.com redirects to TeamCoco.com.)
Conan and Company have used that fantastic internet presence to make as many people as possible shiver with anticipation for the Monday, November 8 11PM EST premiere of Conan. First, there was the 24 hours of live programming streamed straight to YouTube from the Team Coco stairwell. Roughly 660,000 people tuned in over the course of the day’s worth of programming.
Next came Show Zero. It was the Diet Coke-sponsored premiere of Conan before the actual premiere. A streamlined version of the show made especially for the fast-paced internet age, complete with semi-forced product placement (to the tune of a reported $200,000).
So, how did Conan do in terms of audience on his show before his first show? Numbers from YouTube tell us Show Zero had 33,825 total live streams over it’s 4:51 runtime. And you can top that off with 3,990 Twitter comments. The video’s also up to 380,000+ on-demand views on YouTube. Not too shabby, especially given Team Coco announced Show Zero only four days in advance of the live stream.
But are those numbers great? I’m not sure. Live streaming on YouTube is a relatively new phenomena with no known benchmarks to help determine success, especially when it comes to short-form content. Do 33,825 total streams over the course of a five-minute video seem like decent numbers to you?
In the end, I’m not sure if it matters. Team Coco is more concerned with the numbers for TBS’ Conan. Once those come in, we’ll be able to tell what kind of impact a chunk of $40 million and nine months worth of internet shenanigans has on TV ratings.