Nielsen Media Research is launching a consumer research trial of interactive programming guides and how they affect viewers' programming choices.
Nielsen will supply 300 metered households with 500 set-top boxes from Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., which is partnering in the effort. In fact, in addition to supplying the boxes, Gemstar will collect and process the data, which Nielsen will audit. The test should help both sides. In addition to giving Nielsen a read on how the guides affect viewing, the study will also collect information on the efficacy of ads on the IPG to help Gemstar better tailor its service to clients.
The study will record "all remote control activity in the measured households." That will include "tune-in behavior, how many people used the IPG to view an advertisement, how much time was spent viewing a particular ad, and what action was taken after the ad was viewed."
In addition to cable and satellite versions of the guides, more than 11 million homes have access to Gemstar's IPG delivered via the vertical blanking interval of a local TV station in the market, often a PBS outlet.