FEATURE13 February 2018

Commercial break: How ITV understands audience signals

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ITV director of audiences Neil Mortensen has a broad and varied research role, as he looks at everything from programme content to the UK’s changing media landscape. By Jane Bainbridge.

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There is no shortage of headlines, reports, analysis, general musings and downright lies on the state of TV viewing in the UK. Whether it’s the death of scheduled TV, advertising engagement, second screening or box-set bingeing – to name but a few – TV viewing is a hot topic and changing media habits are ripe for research and analysis.

As a commercial terrestrial TV broadcaster, pretty much every media consumption trend affects ITV – which is one of the reasons Neil Mortensen, its director of audiences, is so busy. 

The multitude of projects his team is involved in cover everything from leisure-time trend analysis to individual programme research. “Here, you’re working with incredibly complex problems – and millions of them, ” says Mortensen.” It’s a big portfolio. It is a cliché to say my job is different every day, but it really is.”

In terms of overall direction, he adds, it’s simple: “We follow our company strategy, which ...