MAD Perspectives Blog

 Disrupt the Intermediaries Measuring Your Audience!

Peggy Dau - Monday, October 14, 2013

The world of TV audience measurement has been the realm of Nielsen for ages - at least in the US. Now Twitter is hailed as the winner of the Social TV battle (did you even know there was a battle?) because Nielsen and other pundits can show a correlation between the volume of tweets and ratings of a show. But are these measurements valid?  And why is it assumed that second screen engagement must occur via an existing social network. Wouldn't a content producer like to engage directly with its audience and measure their sentiment in real-time? Yes, it is time consuming to manage that engagement. Yes, it requires planning, budget and talent to make that interaction meaningful, but isn't that the point?

I was fortunate to have a chat with Khris Loux of Echo whose engagement platform allows real-time audience interaction with TV shows during the broadcast of that program. This real-time social experience provides the audience with data, chats, games and incremental show-related insight. The platform allows content producers to brand the engagement and own the interaction, even as social streams such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, etc. are ingested, filtered for relevance and integrated into the branded online destination. With Echo's platform (or solutions from competitors such as IntoNow, ConnecTV, TVPlus or MagicRuby), content producers own the registration and individual users can establish their parameters for content sources and content relevance. The power for the content producer is in understanding the type of content consumed and the level of engagement pursued by each user.

Second screen platforms that allow brand extension in addition to engagement provide much deeper insight into fan opinion, needs, influence and sentiment. With their position as a industry thought leader, Nielsen could interact with these platforms to capture and measure the level of engagement across these platforms. This gives them ability to provide ratings with context; that were representative of and audience engaged enough to register - rather than estimating ratings based on a smallish number of black boxes or tweets from an audience that may be missing some key constituents.

It's time to makes sense of the data provided by Nielsen, Twitter, Trendrr and others. It's time to engage with the audience and understand who they are and why they engage (or not) with a program!

What's your perspective?