Monday

Q&A Interview with Horst Stipp, SVP Strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC

Q&A with Horst Stipp

What is the future of television? How has the media landscape changed? Dr. Horst Stipp is the SVP Strategic Insights & Innovation and a 40 year veteran of NBC. His work spans all strategic areas of research including sales research, social research and innovative insights for all the NBC Universal properties. I interviewed Horst in his office and we discussed a range of subjects including the past and future trends of research, DVRs, his predictions, International research and CTAM. There are 7 videos in the interview:

Video Length                                (in minutes)
Intro and STB Data                         (4:08)
Changes in Research and T.A.M.I. (6:50)
DVRs                                              (4:02)
Challenges and Research Quality   (7:35)
International                                   (2:28)
CTAM                                            (2:10)
Predictions                                      (2:51)



Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst discusses his background, his current job responsibilites and the role of set top box data in research.





Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst discusses his how research has changed over the past 5 years and a new metric NBC has developed to meet the challenges of measurement today.




Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst discusses DVRs - trends, measurement and impact.




Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst discusses challenges in Research today and the importance of research quality.




Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst discusses his work in International research.





CW: Horst, you are very involved in CTAM. You were the recent co-chair of the CTAM Research Planning committee. Can you tell us about your work with CTAM and the value that CTAM brings to your company?

HS: When you first asked me about my history here at NBC, I recall those days when NBC was just a television network and now our president Jeff Zucker is on record as saying that the majority of our profits come from our cable properties. So our cable properties are not only incredibly important, they are also of growing importance. And for me personally it has been exciting to get involved in this more varied world of television and looking at the network and what that does and also all the different cable networks, their niches, their branding, their audiences. I’ve been involved in segmentation studies for the various networks and it has been fascinating. CTAM deals with all of these issues and at CTAM you meet people dealing with exactly these same issues.  At the research conference there is a great sharing of very interesting information. It was very exciting to put the program together and work with Colleen Fahey-Rush on the recent Research Conference. We were very happy with the outcome. We were very proud of the program. The reason why I even agreed to do the work – and believe me it is more work than you think as a co-chair – was because I’ve been to several of the CTAM Research conferences and have always found them to be really good, really interesting and really valuable. It’s the conference itself, it’s the program, the information you get and it’s also the networking sharing of information is informative.


Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst discusses his work with CTAM.






CW: You are in a very unique position in the industry because you work for a company that has a broadcast network, a range of cable networks and a very strong off-platform. How would you say that the research community and the research that you do has changed in the past 5 to 10 years?

HS: There are a lot of issues. One is of course the currency; the need to get more data on the smaller networks as well as to get measurement of the DVR, the time shifted viewing and finally of online viewing. That’s been a major issue in those last years. The movement of a plain old fashion television exposure currency to cross media and online measurement and time shifted measurement. You may have heard about NBC’s creation, T.A.M.I. – the total audience measurement index – which is an attempt to describe the total reach of a television program on all these new platforms in the absence of a true cross media, cross platform measurement tool which we don’t have yet. So that’s the ad exposure issue. Secondly, I think there has been a move towards more sales research at all the networks certainly at NBC. Part of that has been our embrace of I.A.G. (measures, among other things, in-program product placement) in the early stages. I think we were the first network to actually use IAG data as a secondary guarantee for some of our clients. So it was establishing working with new measures. We did, at the time, a very innovative study on galvanic skin responses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_skin_response) and eye tracking measures to establish that when people see commercials that they time shifted and fast forwarded. That they still get a lot of information even though they are watching fast forward because they are very much focused on the screen and apparently the brain is hard wired to make sense out of what is in front of you even though its in fast forward. So that was an interesting new methodology. And there is an increased demand for cross media research simply to demonstrate and establish if you advertise across platform that you get more bang for your buck….



CW: Where do you see the biggest challenges to your job in Research coming from in the next 5 years?

HS: I think Research in general has two issues. One is, I think, a very old one and one is maybe a little more recent. The older one is to sell the research to management. Make it useful, show that it is useful, demonstrate its usefulness, provide the kind of information that is really needed but on the other hand not to oversell it either. And of course that is a very fine balance and sometimes we tend to oversell it a little as researchers because we are very passionate about the data. The shortcomings are that people don’t always know what they want or don’t always tell you the truth. Respondents are notoriously bad at telling you about the future such as what kind of programs would you really like to see that you currently don’t find on tv. The typical answer is more of my favorite programs right now. I think they are also very bad at predicting the adoption of certain technologies. That has always been an issue. The new issue that has come up is that because of the quickening pace of technology and of changes in media and an increased demand for the kind of question that you just asked which is “What’s going to happen? How is this going to develop?”….
  

Charlene Weisler interviews Horst Stipp, SVP strategic Insights and Innovation, NBC. Horst provides his predictions for the industry in the next 5 years.



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