NEWS9 May 2024

TV panels ‘critical’ element of audience measurement, says report

Media News North America

US – Consumer research panels will remain a vital part of the television audience measurement industry for the foreseeable future despite significant changes to the media landscape in the past few years, according to a report by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM).

Couple watching TV

In its report, called The future role and value of panels in US TV measurement, CIMM analysed the purpose and usage of consumer panels in the television industry, based on contributions from a cross-section of industry stakeholders and measurement providers.

CIMM said that its analysis indicated that although datasets from set-top boxes, smart TVs and other sources are very useful for measurement purposes, panels remain vital for calibrating and enriching this data, as well as supporting measurement of actual viewers rather than households.

Other findings include that panels present an opportunity to establish more trust and credibility in alternative currency measurements, including acting as a catalyst for adopting new measurement tools.

Panel data could also serve as seed data for artificial intelligence (AI) models and as an important reality check for AI-based measurements, the report added.

The report said that panel technologies were focusing on making participation in panels less arduous for panellists to boost retention, but that panel development and maintenance was costly, making innovation potentially prohibitive to many firms.

Jon Watts, managing director at CIMM, said: “The TV industry is changing, and as it evolves, so too will the role of panels. For the foreseeable future, panels will remain a critical ingredient for many use cases.

“As with any significant cycle of innovation, new measurement solutions come with advantages – and limitations.”