The Oscars have always been one of the most important nights in Hollywood, with everyone watching from when the celebrities walk down the red carpet to when they finally announce “Best Picture.” However, now the Academy is facing a new challenge: their audience. The program is quickly losing its audience as the younger generation has stopped watching. They now have turned to social media to find a solution to this problem. This year, they launched a 5.5 million dollar marketing campaign, an 82% jump from last year, in an effort to get younger viewers.
There are a few issues that keep the younger audience away. Primarily, it’s the content of the actual show itself. The Oscars focus on many indie and art films, not the giant blockbusters that the younger audiences normally watch in theaters. They’re the types of films that really only start gaining popularity once they are put on Netflix. Also, the Oscars are in a time slot that is in direct competition with some of the most popular shows on television, including PBS’s Downtown Abbey, AMC’s Walking Dead, and HBO’s Girls. For these reasons, the Oscars really needs to up its game in the marketing area, in order to capture younger viewers and keep them interested in watching the program in the future.
Not only does the Academy need to capture younger viewers, but they also need to compete with last year’s show. Last year the Oscars were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and brought in the highest ratings in 14 years. This year, however, they are being hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, whose 12.7 million Twitter followers pale in comparison to DeGeneres’s 37.3 million. Also, Harris doesn’t have a popular talk show where he can promote the upcoming awards show. Unfortunately, the show didn’t deliver this year, with a combination of poor writing and a large social media backlash over the lack of diversity among nominees, the 2015 Oscars just couldn’t compete with 2014.