Many TV analysts say “viewing” metrics are really just “tuning” — not people actually focusing their eyes on the screen.
TVision Insights’ technology measures “eyes on the screen.” Microsoft Kinect devices are installed on panelists' TVs and sensors can track eye movements of multiple people in a room. Other technology can detect audio, which can determine programming on TV.
For the second quarter of this year, the company said, CBS had the highest index overall for "attention" in three of five dayparts. In a prime-time period -- 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. -- CBS earned a 109.5 attention index. ABC was next at 106.1, NBC at 104.5 and Fox with 98.4.
The top five broadcast shows were: NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” a 142.5 index; NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night,” 139.6; ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” 132.3; CBS, “Ransom,” 132.1; and CBS’ “Superior Donuts,” 128.2.
The top cable TV shows were: TLC’s “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” 184.2; A&E’s “Born This Way,” 168.9; E! “Second Wives Club,” 156.8; Animal Planet's “Alaska: The Last Frontier: The Frozen Edge,” 152.5; and TBS’ “The Detour,” 151.1.
The top OTT programs were: Netflix’s “House of Cards,” 133.8 index; Hulu’s “Casual,” 132.9; Netflix's “Grace and Frankie,” 121.5.
The research was collected from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017, from 7,500 individuals in Boston, Chicago and Dallas. All demographic data was self-reported by the respondents.
As one who has pioneered viewer attentiveness studies and explored this subject in great detail----see our annual, "TV Dimensions 2017" for more on this---- I would point out that the differences noted thus far by TVision's "eye cameras", if replicated repeatedly, could be very significant for advertisers trying to utilize engagement metrics along with Nielsen ratings in their TV time buying. An average 5%-10% difference in eyes on rates across a full primetime program schedule between networks is quite significant and bears careful study. I am sure that any advertiser or agency that contacts TVision with questions about its 7000 person panel will find them most cooperative and willing to share information not only on TV show attentiveness but also on commercial performance.