Today, more than 3/4 of homeowners check online house listings regularly. Many of these homeowners aren’t on the market for a new home; this is simply a hobby. While online listings and apps make it easier than ever for people to peruse the occasional local or national listing, another culprit may be to blame for this unusual hobby: HGTV.
The Home and Garden television station based in Knoxville, Tennessee, welcomes more than millions of viewers a month. This audience has come to know and love HGTV for their breakout shows like, The Property Brothers, Love it or List it, Fixer Upper, and most notably, House Hunters, the show that follows individuals as they tour various homes on the market until they find their ‘dream home’.
In 2015, the network placed 8 out of 10 on the most popular networks watched. A record for the channel. On average, viewers spent more than 85 minutes a week watching HGTV programming.
“The ratings momentum we’ve seen at HGTV reflects the impact that star talent and addictive program formats have on our key audiences, especially the upscale female audience and the millennial audience, whose viewership of HGTV has grown by 4 percent,” said Allison Page, general manager, HGTV, DIY Network and Great American Country in a recent article on Scripps Network.
Like any successful reality show, HGTV benefits from several things. First, the channel offers programming that is engaging and entertaining for a wide audience. While men aren’t the largest demographic; the channel is able to sweep their male counterparts into the whirlwind by producing shows that offer real ways to improve your home, garden, pool, vacation home.
Additionally, the show is able to create programs that feature likable, returning characters, like Chip and Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper. Yes, the show features a beautiful, if not quirky couple, who’s pack of children steal the show. But the show has more depth than watching the daily events of a family.
We watch the show because we’re invested in many things: the Gaines’ family narrative, the couple they enlist to help, the house they find, the work they pour into the project, and finally, the big reveal moment. It’s a perfect recipe for any reality TV show. Viewers tune in for the likable character; and remain for the big reveal moment that conveniently takes place in the last few seconds of each episode.
There are many reasons to watch HGTV. Perhaps it’s our desire to poke around the homes of other people. Or maybe we’re desperate for anything makeover related. It’s very likely that we’ve bit into the addictive apple that HGTV has crafted and can’t get enough.
Michael Leafer is the founder and CEO of Leaf Management. As a serial entrepreneur, he’s always on the lookout for inspirational ideas, questions, and thoughts. What about you? Do you watch HGTV? Do you house-hunt on the regular?