Is your TV watching you?
TV ratings have historically been the number one measure used in determining how successful a show is, and therefore the price to advertise during that show. However, in recent years, marketers are turning to new measures promising to provide information regarding user attention and even emotion. Companies like TVision are using cognitive computing to train facial recognition software to recognize attention and emotion of users watching. These companies will pay samples of people to simply keep a camera on while they watch TV, often the Microsoft Kinect Sensor. The software behind the sensor is constantly learning more and more how to identify emotions through facial expression. This leads to data on what shows viewers are more engaged with while watching, and even what show’s viewers are more engaged with commercials. After all, if you were an advertiser wouldn’t you rather pay to show your commercial to people you know are watching? Many people turn shows on and don’t pay attention, or they leave them on as they do other things around the house. These shows may have high viewership, but the viewers may not actually be paying attention. For example, one study done by TVision showed that Shark Tank ranked amongst the highest in their attention rating. This makes sense because viewers are highly engaged with new business ideas and the suspense of a potential offer. Also, as you can imagine, commercial attention scores during the Super Bowl were very high. The more the AI software learns the more accurate and reliable this data will become. This system could potential replace ratings as the primary source of determining the value of an advertisement slot.