How big is The X Factor? It’s very big. But how does it extend its brand power across different media?

Suzanne Lugthart, who if nothing else has a very long job title (she is ITV’s head of online, VOD and platforms research and insight), gave an eye-opening presentation to the AOP Research Forum this week on how X Factor

She revealed some internal research stats – you can watch the video above for a fuller view – and hit home the point that TV brands can extend their reach, and by proxy their advertisers’ reach, just through simply making the brand available to people at different points in their daily lives. For X Factor, that includes spin-off TV shows, watch-again VOD content online, user-made (user-led?) shows on TV and online, PR (mentions in magazines, newspapers and on radio) and of course the all-important live show on Saturday nights, for which a 30-second ad slot can reportedly cost 250,000.

Here are some stats from her talk:

– More than seven million adults talk or read about X Factor every week. As Tughart says: “That makes social networks comparable in terms of audience encounters to the whole of the print market.”

– Lughart says the research shows that a TV brand can increase its reach on top of live TV views over a week by 55 percent, mainly through digital media. For X Factor, this figure was actually 43 percent, taking the audience from 20 million to 29 million people, or if you prefer, 61 percent of the entire UK population. The 55 percent figure specifically relates to research on the not-famously-digital-minded This Morning show.

– Some 3.4 million people engaged with the show online who had not seen that week’s show on TV.

But why do people connect with brands online?

Lugthart has the answers – she and her researchers have isolated five main reasons:

1. Connecting

2. Belonging

3. Self-expression

4. Sharing

5. Extended enjoyment