Technologies from CES to Improve TV Audience Measurement

February 5, 2014

By Bill Duggan

After this perspective was initially published in Radio & Television Business Report, a senior industry media executive (in fact, a division president), sent me an email that said, “ …while some of that stuff your reference is scary it is all going to happen. if it can be done, it will be done...good stuff.”  Please read on …

I attended CES recently with 150,000+ others including an estimated 10,000 marketing and advertising execs. There were a number of technologies on display at the show that could have applications to improve TV audience measurement.

  • Haier, the Chinese consumer electronics and home appliances company, showed a prototype of a TV with “Fingerprint ID.” A viewer scans their fingerprint on a device that looks like a remote control, providing security for shopping as well as viewing, i.e., parental control could make some networks/programs off limits to kids.
  • Panasonic has “My stream with Voice Assistant” allowing viewers to search by voice for the content they want. Panasonic calls this “personalized content aggregation.”
  • In the Cisco Connected Home, TVs are aware of who is in the room and then recommends programming.
  • Televisions with facial recognition technology have a built-in camera that recognizes the face(s) of the individual(s) in the room and then personalizes the experience to each recognized family member, switching to different preferences and home screens based on which member of a family sits down to watch.

ANA has been advocating the idea of “brand-specific commercial ratings” for some time now. That is, the ability to measure the ratings of specific commercials. The current industry standard provides ratings for the average of all the commercials within a program. Why settle for “averages” when you can have “specifics?”

Commercial ratings would provide more granular data to better inform the decision-making process.

  • Better creative decisions, e.g., to identify weak/strong spots in a pool, and also to be a barometer of commercial wearout.
  • Better media decisions, e.g., to indicate which networks, dayparts, or programs work best for a brand and also to optimize the mix of :30s and 15s.

ANA encourages the TV audience measurement companies to investigate the technologies from CES in order to improve TV audience measurement.

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