Shopping Channel says first ratings 'solid'

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Candy Lane and Lucy Gallaugher on set at the Shopping Channel. Photo / Kellie Blizard
Candy Lane and Lucy Gallaugher on set at the Shopping Channel. Photo / Kellie Blizard

As the first set of viewer ratings are released for The Shopping Channel, the company says it is more focused on how many people are buying than watching.

The 24-hour channel launched on October 1 and ratings agency Nielsen has now provided the first snapshot of how things are tracking.

In a four-week period starting on October 28, The Shopping Channel attracted 681,000 unique viewers. Chief executive Alistair Duff called that a "solid result".

"Any shop that can achieve 681,000 unique people through the front door is doing well, all potential buyers.

"This is a very solid base for four weeks, the number augurs well moving forward."

Owner Greg Partington said in July he was expecting more than 600,000 Kiwi women to tune to the channel every week.

Duff said the Shopping Channel differed from other channels in that its primary focus was on selling products.

"The most important figure to us is the number of people coming back to the channel. We focus on buyer numbers rather than audience numbers."

If the channel was able to release figures based on frequency of viewings, the ratings number would increase considerably, he said.

"From our online purchasing traffic we have a high frequency of repeat buyers showing us that we have significant repeat viewers.

"These are not reflected in the unique views number."

The channel's own internal figures showed 15 per cent of those who purchased in October made another purchase in November, he said.

Customer numbers from October to November had increased by 25 per cent and December was on track for a 200 per cent increase on November.

"We are never going to be happy as one can always do better," Duff said.

"We are constantly reviewing what we are doing and looking at ways to improve."

Broadcasting on Sky channel 18 and Freeview 18, The Shopping Channel went live with a visit from Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria to boost publicity.

A run of bad taste jokes drew attention to the show in its early days, with viewers complaining on Facebook about a "creepy" banana joke, "disgusting" food, and a lack of contact details showing up on screen.

The channel announced last month it would be cutting its number of weekly live filming days from six to two and doing more pre-recording.

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