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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 08, 2013

Neurological Study Sheds Light into Social TV Interaction

By Frank Griffin, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Inner space, or the human brain, is considered by some to be the final frontier in research, even though this is a point of contention with those who think outer space is the final frontier. No matter which side of the argument you stand on, the brain is what will get us to both destinations.

Understanding how the brain works is important not only for healthcare providers, but also for corporations, law enforcement, the military, the intelligence community and many other entities. Many different companies are conducting neurological studies to give them an insight into how you consume their product and find out ways for you to consume more of it.

A study by Neuro-Insight, along with MEC Australia and Seven Network, showed that consumers who interacted with social media when watching television increased program engagement by 9 percent. This study was designed to discover the impact of multi-screen services with first, second or even third screen viewing.

Before this study, it was believed using a second screen while someone was watching a TV program affected the engagement of the viewer negatively. This belief influenced advertising revenue on TV and social media extensions.

“Engagement is impossible for people to articulate through crude measures of recall, attitudinal research or even eye-tracking. The only way to measure engagement is neurologically,” said chief strategy officer for MEC, James Hier.

Observations of the study:

  • The average social interaction during a TV program was four times.
  • The interaction provided a reset moment which increased the level of engagement before the interaction.
  • The total increase in engagement was 26 percent.
  • Detailed Memory Encoding, which is the ability to remember events in the broadcast, was affected positively by interacting with a second screen.

The Director of Marketing at Neuro-Insight said, “Never before has a study been done that measures neurological responses to live TV viewing, at such a granular level, with such a robust number of interactions.”

In the past, advertising had limited outlets, which made it easy to choose the best venue for a particular product. But these days the media landscape has gotten very complicated, requiring the expertise of many different assets to ensure advertising dollars reach their target audience.

James Hier added, “This study teaches us that advertising messages should capitalize on viewers’ heightened receptivity to details, and that we should optimize the type and timing of advertising messages within a TV program.”

Edited by Braden Becker

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