Q&A Interview with Theresa Pepe, VP Research Current TV

How can a cable network that is not measured by Nielsen create a measurable presence in the advertising community? Charlene Weisler interviews Theresa Pepe, the head of Research for Current TV, and discovers that there are many ways to position a network.

There are four videos in this interview:

Title                                    (Length in Minutes)
Role of Research                 (2:59)
Industry Trends                    (3:41)
Predictions                          (3:23)
Measurement                       (3:22)

CW: Theresa, what do you think is the most dramatic change in the industry in the past five years?

TP: I think the proliferation of the different technologies is the most dramatic change. Five years ago I might have said “commercial ratings” and “second by second” from a data perspective but the more I think about it, the more I think that it is technology: What is available to everyone as far as viewing television and as far as using the internet. It’s amazing when you think about how many people are in tune and in touch in ways that they have never been before. So I would say that technology is the biggest change.

CW: Current TV appears to be taking the most advantage of this new trend. Can you talk a little bit about what you are here?

TP: Sure. We use crowd sourcing ideas about bringing content to the television station and to the website. And we do call outs to people in the public and to independent producers or even just lay people who go out and address an issue and help load it on to our website. We have producers who look at it and help them to get it broadcast ready and then we air it on the network. So I think that kind of social media aspect about Current TV is probably one of the great ways that we take advantage of the changes in the media landscape now. I think that the people who are really plugged in are the ones who are going to be moving the messages, helping the advertisers and helping to bring more people to the channel.

Charlene Weisler interviews Theresa Pepe, VP Research Current TV, on how she started in the business, the role of research in a corporation today and how the landscape has changed:

CW: Current, because of its distribution and because of its niche audience probably has challenges measured by Nielsen because the Nielsen sample may not be large enough. How do you overcome that and are there other steps that you are taking to make sure that you are getting accurate measurement for your network?

TP: We are looking at different streams of data right now – trying to understand what are the nuances and what are the benefits. But I really feel that clearer customizable types of research are important. As I said, I don’t think the measurement industry is ready for a network like this that has such a connection between the internet and what is happening on air. Hopefully the holy grail that everybody’s seeking (in terms of) of convergence, engagement and participation is something that we could lead the industry in discovering. I think that it’s a work in progress for us. 

Charlene Weisler interviews Theresa Pepe, VP Research Current TV, on the most dramatic changes in the industry in the past 5 years and how Current TV is on the cutting edge of these changes:

Charlene Weisler interviews Theresa Pepe, VP Research Current TV, on her three predictions for the next five years:

In this concluding video, Charlene Weisler interviews Theresa Pepe, VP Research Current TV, on measurement and the future of set top box data:

CW: Theresa, is there anything that you would like to add?

TP: I just wanted to talk about the unique position that we are in (at Current). We are definitely a unique product. I like to say that we are the next generation of media. And we have a really great linear presence as well and a super strong off-platform presence. Again, the holy grail is how do we measure that, how do we talk about that, with all of the prehistoric recruiting methods and sampling biases. It’s really tough for a lot of the newer networks to have a stake in the ground because of the limits in the current measurement now. I think it will be an interesting journey for us.

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