This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Better Uses For 'American Idol' Vote Cash

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- American Idol may have been the nation's favorite show for much of the past decade, but it's also one of its biggest wastes of expendable income.

Since 2004, Idol has been the No. 1 show in America and still pulled in an average of nearly 30 million viewers last year after peaking at more than 37 million in 2007. Nielsen says Idol is helping Fox (NWS) to an early lead in February sweeps, with Fox drawing an average of 23 million viewers in prime time, or more than three times the audience of No. 2 CBS (CBS - Get Report). But the franchise itself is falling on some unusually hard times.

If the American Idol judges haven't been keeping your attention since Simon Cowell left, and the onstage talent isn't thrilling you, it might be worth it to think about what you could buy by forgoing your text-messaged votes.

In the early stages of this season, Idol is averaging 25.6 million viewers on Wednesdays and 22.4 million viewers on Thursdays. That's a big fall from a Tuesday average of 28.9 million viewers and Wednesday's 27.5 during the same period last year, and just one of the signs that the still formidable show is losing steam a decade after it first aired.

As polarizing as were show founder and former judge Simon Cowell and '80s pop star turned judging softie Paula Abdul, the audience at least felt something about them. Newcomer Jennifer Lopez fulfilled her destiny as the next Abdul, but little else, while new judge and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler needed some network-conjured controversy and a contestant named Muck just to remind people he was there. Meanwhile, last season's winner Lee DeWyze's debut album Live It Up sold fewer than 150,000 copies to date, about half the sales of Season 8 winner Kris Allen's self-titled debut a year before and nearly a 10th of Season 7 winner David Cook's first-album sales. This is what's supposed to get people to sacrifice their "standard messaging rates" once the semifinals start?

That AT&T-sponsored fan text voting may not be beyond reproach, but it's the closest Idol fans come to investing in the franchise until the winner and more-popular runner-up's albums are released. Nielsen measured Idol participation back in 2008 and determined that the average fan voted via text message 38 times. With AT&T (T - Get Report) and its biggest competitor Verizon's (VZ) texting rates at 20 cents per message, that's $7.60. Stretch that out across 14 episodes of voting, and you're looking at $106.40 in texts alone for the season if you're not hooked into a text plan.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $130.28 0.00%
CBS $62.72 0.00%
F $15.77 0.00%
T $34.01 0.00%
FB $81.53 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs