Soaps are coming up on almost a century of broadcasting (Guiding Light would have turned 80 years old this year), but network executives and marketers are STILL trying to figure out what makes people watch.
Do viewers want more sex? More music video quick cuts? More action? More gun battles? You can quit your speculating, folks, because 10,000 viewers filled us in.
Escape From… Everything
For those who believe that fans are interested in seeing their real-life triumphs and tribulations reflected back at them, 65% of the audience has some news for you: You watch soaps for the escape.
Your life is filled with grocery shopping, incompetent bosses, kids who don’t want to do their homework, and partners who leave their socks on the floor.
You don’t want to see that on your screen.
You want romance. You want pulse-pounding drama. You want risk and nail-biting suspense — with the promise of a happy ending. And a clean floor. (You assume it’s clean. You never actually see it. Or that fourth wall.)
Born To Be… Soaped
For 32% of you, it wasn’t a question of choosing to watch soaps. You were born into the habit, a second or third generation fan.
(Though characters born the same time as you were somehow mysteriously older during the teen years, but are somehow younger now.) Soaps are how you talk to family members you’d otherwise rather not talk to, at all.
For 3%, the reasons vary. Some do it for love of the genre, some do it for the continuity of seeing the same faces every day (and if not the same faces, then different faces answering to the same name).
And then there are those who do it for “all of the above.” It’s a family tradition that you’ve grown to love regardless of how it started, and you’d be very, very cranky were it taken away from you (any more than it already has been).