Watching You Watch: TVision TV Tracker Monitors TV Viewing Habits

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Once, not terribly long ago, it was easy enough to rely on Nielsen families to provide all the data a marketer would ever need about the general TV viewing habits in the United States like audiences, ratings and demographics, but times, as they say, are a-changin’.

Today’s television viewer is a very different creature that might not even be consuming television programming on a TV set. Even if they are, a recent survey by Accenture Consulting showed that 57 percent of viewers are second screening with their smartphones. Getting a good read on these types of television watchers has been difficult, creating a black hole of data for marketing professionals everywhere.

Despair No Longer, Advertising Professionals!

A clever new TV tracker from TVision Insights is not only capable of detecting just who is watching television, but it can provide you with enough data to better understand the complicated TV viewing habits of everyone in the room. TVision is the brainchild of a group of MIT graduates determined to get every last scrap of data out of television viewing.

The device, which is filled with sensors that can detect movement and eye contact even in a dark room, looks a lot like an Xbox Kinect device and connects to a television just as easily. Not only does it decipher basic data about television viewers, like who is actually looking at the TV, TVision’s device can also perform emotion tracking, making it easier to see exactly when a user is fully engaged or measure their response to a particular advertising piece. 

TVision Helps Marketers in Unexpected Ways

The immediate benefits of the TVision device are apparent to anyone who has ever been near a television.

After all, knowing more about television viewers provides more insight into how to properly target advertisements and determine if a particular audience is even watching the programming. Unlike Nielsen, which relies on self-report data, TVision is constantly taking measurements and recording data that can be useful in a variety of segments.

For marketers, here are some of the biggest benefits we see:

  • Better pricing for television advertisement. There’s always that one television advertisement that ends up placed just perfectly, delivers the message you want and just completely fails to deliver. You probably paid a pretty penny for it, too, which is really the worst part of the whole thing. With a system like TVision, it’s possible that the pricing for TV advertising space will get better, or at least the ROI will improve dramatically.
    Knowing who is actually watching can make all the difference between an advertising piece that flops hugely and one that really hits home.
  • More opportunities for second screen marketing. Hey, if viewers are second screening anyway, you might as well show them some marketing that relates back to what they’re seeing on the television. The technology to do this with high precision may not quite be there, but when it is, TVision will create so much more value in this technique.
    For now, you can use the data TVision provides to determine when to run social media marketing, for example, in relation to the use of program-specific hashtags.
  • A clearer look into streaming behaviors. It’s been tricky to get good data on just how viewers use their Rokus, Apple TVs and other streaming services. Obviously we can pull a certain amount of data from the box itself, but do people actually watch this stuff, or are they just running it while they make dinner? How much eye contact do streamed shows get? Which programs are the most engaging and how can we tell a fully attentive binge from someone falling asleep with the Roku on?
    These questions have perplexed and plagued marketers since streaming boxes became popular, but with technology like TVision, it’ll get a lot easier to develop marketing for this sea of cord-cutters.

Products like TVision are going to be a boon to marketers, advertisers and even programming specialists in the very near future. The fact that only around 2,000 households currently have one of these devices, compared to the 42,500 Nielsen families, means that there’s still a long way to go in data-gathering.

But it’s happening, and the future is now. Supporting this type of technology while it’s still in its infancy can put you way ahead of the television marketing game.

 

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