Our TV Viewing Habits Can Be Monitored for the Benefit of Marketers

We cannot ignore the fact that billions are spent on TV commercials by production houses and companies. In the USA, approx. $69billion is spent annually on TV ads. Therefore, it is very important for them to find out the best way to invest money and create profitable campaigns. This can be accomplished by assessing what the viewers like and how they react to certain ads/programs. TVision helps them understand these aspects commendably.

TVision is a start-up company that devises monitoring campaigns to inform marketers about the viewing habits of people. It has already worked with renowned companies like Disney-ABC Television Group, NBC and the Weather Channel and helped them understand what sort of content people like to watch and what generates maximum interest among the masses. It is one among the various firms that are putting in significant efforts to bring to light the salient methods that would help marketers understand how they can improve the ratings of their commercials and programming related campaigns.

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NewYork time reports that last year, TVision hired a 48-year-old Chicago resident Ms. Ellen Milz for this purpose. For the campaign, she had to connect and install a device on top of her television set and let it inspect her and her family’s viewing habits over the course of few months. The device in question was a Microsoft Kinect device that is used for playing Xbox video games. Hence, last summer, Ms. Milz, her husband and three kids were asked by the company to watch the Olympics and let the device monitor them to “see how like it, what sports, expression, who’s around,” etc.

The sensors of this device can track the movement of the eyes of those sitting in front of the TV and record minute shifts for the people present in the room. The data acquired is then matched with the already available data related to viewing patterns and assessed using other advanced tools.

According to Ms. Milz, when the company approached her, she found this idea a bit odd, but then she reckoned that she already has Nest security cams installed at home and besides she would be receiving $60 for participating in the marketing gimmick and after four months she will be paid $230. Therefore, she agreed to become part of the panel.

It is a fact that viewers around the world change their viewing habits rather quickly as they now are not limited to viewing programs on television sets only but on other devices too including tablets, PCs, smartphones, Roku boxes and laptops.

TVision’s chief revenue officer Dan Schiffman stated that: “The big thing for TV advertisers and the networks is: Are you looking at the screen or not? What you looked at is interesting, but the fact that you looked away is arguably the most interesting.”

TVision aims to gather information that aids advertisers create marketing campaigns that ensure maximum audience engagement across all age groups. It can help networks come up with shows that garner widespread acceptance and appreciation. To achieve this massive task, the company has recruited families from 2,000 houses (nearly 7,500 people) located in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston. It anonymously records the information without recording images and videos from the panel members, one of which happens to be the Milz family. The data is, stated Mr. Schiffman, obtained in this format: “Person No. 124 in Household 6 was paying attention this second and not paying attention the next to an individual program or advertisement.”

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TVision uses technology that can recognize shows and commercials utilizing the digital and the audio tags that the content contains much like the way song-recognition app Shazam works. The company believes that by gauging the level of attention a particular show receives from the audience, it can be possible to bolster niche programs and this would be beneficial for smaller networks. However, privacy advocates may raise concerns about this technology sooner or later.

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