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MEC, Seven Network & Neuro Insight Reveal Findings of World-First Neuro Study into Social TV Interaction

April 4, 2013

MEC Australia today announced a pioneering neuro science study of social TV viewers that has revealed that interacting with social media while watching TV drives a 9% increase in program engagement. MEC and Seven teamed up to conduct the study with Neuro-Insight in the quest to discover the impact of social media interaction on viewers’ engagement levels on the 1st and 2nd screens.

Viewers recruited for the study were typical social TV participants; monitored though hidden cameras as they watched a live broadcast of the Seven Network’s reality show X-Factorlate last year. Any interaction with social media occurred naturally.

The results disprove the theory that second-screen usage during TV viewing negatively impacts audience engagement, and substantiate the value of TV sponsorships and social media extensions.

Chief Strategy Officer for MEC, James Hier said, “Engagement is impossible for people to articulate through crude measures of recall, attitudinal research or even eye-tracking. The only way to measure engagement is neurologically.”

“Never before has a study been done that measures neurological responses to live TV viewing, at such a granular level, with such a robust number of interactions”. Peter Pynta Director of Marketing Neuro Insight added.

The study revealed:

  • Interacting with social media while watching TV drives a 9% increase in program engagement
  • Average social media interaction during a TV program: 4 times
  • These interactions serve as “reset moments” after which viewers return to an engagement level higher than before
  • Throughout the program, cumulative increase in engagement is 26%
  • Second-screen interaction positively impacts Detailed Memory Encoding – the ability to remember specific elements of the broadcast.

“Seven Network can use these insights to improve our clients’ communications effectiveness. Sponsors that are fully integrated in a TV show can capitalise on the higher intensity of engagement and enjoy better results,” said Kurt Burnette Chief Sales & Digital Officer.

“This study teaches us that advertising messages should capitalise on viewers’ heightened receptivity to details, and that we should optimise the type and timing of advertising messages within a TV program,” James Hier added.

MEC, Seven Network and Neuro Insight unveiled the study results at the 2013 Australian Broadcasting Summit.

Visit our YouTube channel MEC InAction for the video The re-socialisation of TV