Broadcast television viewership is traditionally measured using a demographically optimised sample, whereby a technological installation at the viewer’s home, monitors the channels being watched, when and for how long. Such an approach is used to inform broadcasters of viewing share and in the case of channels carrying advertising, a means to gauge revenue. However, these methods reveal little about the engagement of the viewer in the programmes. At the outset, there is no data collected as to what the viewer might be doing whilst the television set is on, whether they are for instance looking at other platforms on smart phones, or simply the television is on in the background, or emotional company for the lonely. It is not a true reflection of broadcast television consumption.
Sensory technology can be used to monitor and understand viewership more accurately. For instance, cameras can be used to gauge the amount of time viewers are watching the screen, their pupil dilation, emotional response in facial expressions. Sensors can monitor the sweat response on the skin. Body language can be monitored via a combination of sensors and cameras.
It is argued that an enhanced sensory approach to monitoring viewership gives a truer representation of engagement. It is a first quantitative step to then fully appreciate whether viewers are ‘hooked’ on particular television programmes, how they relate to them personally and how they influence interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. Coupled with an understanding of the psychological factors surround viewership, such an approach it is suggested can give broadcasters and producers a much better rating of the success of televisual content, which in turn may result in a better commercial and economic model of broadcast. Sustainability of broadcast channels can be better gauged.
Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.
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