All posts from: February 2012
Plans are afoot to introduce a Gulf-wide system that uses people-meters to measure TV audiences in the region, according to local reports.
The UAE is currently the only country to use people meters to count television audiences – that is until Saudi Arabia’s system gets up and running in the next 12 to 18 months – but a consultant working on the Saudi project says that a region-wide scheme is in the offing.
Thomas Kuruvilla, managing director of consultancy Arthur D. Little Middle East, told The National that “preliminary” talks about a system covering all Gulf Cooperation Council countries – including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman – have already taken place.
He said: “There is a clear appreciation that we need to have GCC-wide TV audience measurement. There is a willingness and ambition to move towards that.” It’s hoped the development of such a system would boost the region’s advertising industry, which is reported to be worth $4bn.
Oh dear, Oprah Winfrey. The doyenne of American daytime TV recently tweeted her nine million followers urging them to watch her new show Oprah’s Next Chapter – “especially if they have a Nielsen box”. Winfrey later took down the offending tweet, at the request of the TV audience measurement firm, saying that she “intended no harm”.
But the ratings firm has already started examining the situation, as it takes seriously any attempt to influence panel homes to change their viewing habits. The firm said: “In accordance with our policies and procedures, Nielsen is reviewing this incident with our clients, and we may withhold, breakout and/or make a note in the ratings.”
This week’s Economist has a fascinating article on the secretive work of the analysis team within the Obama 2012 re-election campaign.
Headed by chief scientist Rayid Ghani, the former analytics research lead at Accenture Labs, the paper says that the team will attempt to mine a “torrent” of data – commercially available consumer data, voter rolls and information gleaned from door-to-door canvassing and phone banks.
The aim of all that is to “predict voting patterns, allowing the Obama campaign to target its spending more accurately and cost-effectively”.
Click here to read the article in full.
Nathan Eagle, founder and CEO of mobile phone crowdsourcing company Jana, is nominated on Wired magazine’s Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world.
Each nominee was selected by a “top achiever in their field”, who were tasked with nominating “one fresh, exciting thinker who is influencing them, someone whose ideas or experience they feel are transformative.”
In Eagle’s case this was Esther Dyson, an investor and entrepreneur focused on breakthrough innovation across a number of diverse fields. She said: “Nathan Eagle is not just smart; he applies his intelligence to the real world, with both vision and a business model.”
Jana, which was founded as TxtEagle in 2009, recruits people to perform ‘microtasks’ by sending information by text message; incentivising them to participate by using free mobile airtime as a reward. As well as carrying out consumer surveys and advertising audits, the approach has been used to monitor hospital blood supplies and to populate GPS systems.
Dyson added: “His company, Jana, employs thousands and, ultimately, he employs millions of people in emerging markets as market researchers.”
Guest post by Bronwen Morgan