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Exploring the Viewer Data Value Exchange

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In a recent Research Insighter post (Will Control of Data Control the Future of Media?), we discussed the potential impact of consumers taking more control of their data – the data now used for everything in television and premium video from creative decisions to programming to targeting ads. At the 2018 Media Insights and Engagement Conference, Turner Networks shared some interesting research into consumers’ attitudes towards data and how they can be empowered to share their data in a relationship with a network.

The two main areas covered by Turner in their talk were curation and serendipity. By curation, this means how can networks make recommendations of programs to view, or advertising to watch, based on viewers’ habits and interests. Based on consumer responses to Turner surveys, there is certainly willingness in sharing different types of personal data to enable better curated suggestions for both programs and ads. If there’s an expected benefit of value, consumers are willing to part with their data.

Serendipity means using data to surprise and delight consumers. While consumers do enjoy a certain level of curation, they also want that sense of discovery – the joy of discovering something new and exciting (even if nudged behind the scenes by data). Turner looked at serendipity when it came to both programs and ads; and again, they found consumers pretty willing to part with the type of personal data needed.

Three key findings are identified by Turner to empower consumers in their sharing of personal data:

  • Trust and transparency – explain to the consumer why the network needs the data; make any user agreement clearly written and brief
  • Shared benefits power the relationship – articulate the benefits to the consumer that result from their sharing of data
  • Celebrate progress – share with participating consumers the new products and experiences that are being powered by sharing of personal data

Data privacy is one of those things that we hear vocal consumers complain about, but that most consumers tend to let slide given a clear benefit (coupons from grocery loyalty cards, the convenience of Uber, and so forth). But with increasing knowledge among consumers of the value of their data – unfortunately reinforced by data breaches - we need guidelines to help build trust and cooperation. This research shared by Turner is a needed and admirable step forward in this industry effort.

About the Author: David is an award-winning media research expert, providing clients with insights into media adoption and use for over 23 years. He is currently principal of TiceVision LLC, a media consultancy. He can be reached at

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