Stormy Daniels May Be Bad for Trump, But Her Story Brought in Major Traffic for These Companies

In 2006, Stephanie Clifford — who acts in adult films under the name “Stormy Daniels” — allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump. Daniels recently shared her story of their nondisclosure agreement, how the president never signed it, and how she was paid off in exchange for her silence.

Daniels has made various television appearances and been the subject of many articles. Consequently, these companies experienced major traffic from Daniels’ story, and each had a different take on the alleged affair, as well as what might happen next.

1. CBS

The interview had the best live viewership since the 2008 presidential election. | CBS

CBS’ 60 Minutes interview with Daniels earned a 16.4 rating in Nielsen-metered market households — the best live viewership rating for the program since Barack Obama’s interview following the 2008 presidential election.

Twenty-two million viewers watched the interview live — a heavy feat for broadcast television in 2018. By comparison, 2018’s Grammys only drew 19.8 million viewers, while the Golden Globes attracted a mere 19 million. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interviewed Daniels.

Next: In the era of a Twitter president, the site obviously benefited.

2. Twitter

twitter logo, blue bird in a white box on a blue background

It’s been the No. 1 trending topic. | Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

Daniels’ name remained the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter and Facebook in the U.S. hours after the broadcast. Some of the tweets focused on specific details of the broadcast, such as how Trump allegedly told Daniels she “reminded him of Ivanka.”

Even those who weren’t drafting their 280-character opinions were scrolling through the app, eagerly awaiting the “tweeter in chief’s” response. He remained silent on Twitter for a few days before sending out a tweet that seemed to refer to the broadcast. “So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate,” he wrote.

Next: Late-night TV benefited as well as prime time.

3. Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Stormy Daniels on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

He received a serious ratings bump. | ABC

Stormy Daniels gave Jimmy Kimmel an exclusive interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! immediately after Trump’s State of the Union address. Daniels was much more vague in this interview than the 60 Minutes one; however, she alluded to certain aspects of her alleged relationship with Trump.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! still experienced a 17% ratings bump — 2.7 million viewers tuned in on Jan. 29, compared to the show’s average viewership of 2.3 million.

Next: Daniels remains a trending topic.

4. Facebook

Facebook logos

It’s been a welcome distraction from Facebook’s own scandal. | Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Stormy Daniels remained a trending topic on Facebook leading up to and throughout her 60 Minutes interview. Searching for her on the site leads you to articles that continue to rehash the scandal, as well as the latest updates.

Facebook explains how its trending content is chosen, shedding light on how prevalent Daniels was the night of the interview: “The headline that appears for a Trending topic is automatically selected based on a combination of factors including the engagement around the article on Facebook, the engagement around the publisher overall and whether other articles are linking to it.”
Next: Certain individuals might have profited, as well.

5. Stormy Daniels

Stormy Daniels Adult video awards

Her films have gone up in views. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Daniels herself experienced a viewership spike. According to Pornhub Insights, the data analytics blog for the site, online searches for Daniels increased by 375% in the days following the revealing Wall Street Journal story. Daniels’ videos used to bring in 2,500 searches a day. But from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19, she brought 2 million viewers to Pornhub searching for Stormy Daniels.

Next: Daniels’ effect on Trump

6. She still isn’t good for Trump …

Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump

It hasn’t had as much of an effect as you’d think. | Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

… Or so you would think. Where public popularity polls are concerned, Trump’s ratings have remained pretty stagnant. His approval ratings are seriously low — lower than those of his seven immediate predecessors. But they haven’t fluctuated that much since the scandal broke.

Weekly Gallup polls on Trump’s approval ratings show as of Jan. 7, 2018 (five days before the Wall Street Journal article surfaced), Trump had a 37% approval rating. As of Jan. 14, 2018, two days after the Wall Street Journal published Daniels’ story, Trump’s approval rating rose by 1%. In the following weeks, it only fluctuated by a matter of 1% to 2%.

Next: The star’s unlikely confidant

7. Seth Rogen was an unlikely confidant

Seth Rogen at the Summer TCA at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Hulu)

She mentioned it to him after acting in two of his movies. | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

It turns out actor and comedian Seth Rogen had the power to reveal Daniels’ story all along. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he told the host he was aware of Daniels’ tryst with Trump and had known for a decade.

“I’ll be honest — she may have mentioned some of this stuff around 10 years ago. At the time when you ask a porn star who they’ve been sleeping with and the answer was Donald Trump, it was like the least surprising thing that she could’ve said,” Rogen told DeGeneres.

Daniels had roles as a stripper and a porn star in Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, two Rogen movies.

Next: What some say her story is really about

8. Her story is about ‘financial intimidation,’ not profitability

It’s mostly about the threats. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The media will continue to cover Daniels until her lawsuit and story resolve. As we discuss the corporations, shows, and people who have profited off or become involved with the allegations, people have begun to analyze the financial aspect of the situation, as well.

“The Stormy Daniels story is certainly about sex but it’s also — and more importantly — about financial and emotional intimidation,” Margaret Sullivan wrote in a column for The Washington Post.

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