By Mallory Weinberg

Last week, the Time Warner Medialab hosted the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) “College Professor Thought Leadership Seminar” for the third straight year. Executives across Time Warner took college faculty on an in-depth tour of how innovative research has influenced different areas of its businesses, ensuring the company’s continuous creation of the most compelling, branded content.

Time Warner hosts the conference for professors to allow them to get an inside look at its medialab’s research capabilities, and to provide context for future recruitment. Key topics presented at this year’s conference included research on digital platforms, behavioral targeting and key on-demand content consumption trends.

Van Riley, Senior Vice President of Market Research and Analysis at HBO, went over some of the company’s research that revealed the importance of real-time viewing and allowing for a story to unfold.

“Time shifted viewing is changing the landscape but we’re seeing traditional linear viewing is still most popular,” Riley said, noting what HBO has done with Sunday night TV. “HBO GO and on-demand drive viewers back to premiere night while delivering strong benefits. We also found that the users of HBO platforms are more loyal to the overall HBO brand.”

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Greg Durkin, Vice President, Research and Planning, discussed key components that drive the lifecycle of motion picture research. From focusing on the relevance of stars, genre and title to test screenings, advertising positioning and ultimately box office metrics, motion picture research plays a pivotal role on helping to define theatrical success. 

Dan Aversano, Vice President of Ad Sales Research for Turner, walked professors through how research and media planning at the company has evolved in just the last two years.

“Here at Turner we are laser focused on moving beyond age/sex demographics as the primary planning metric and currency for TV," said Aversano. "Demographics are not an accurate way to predict consumer behavior. We’ve spent the last two years developing a better way to plan media. Our new beta product, targetingNOW, goes beyond age/sex demographics and allows us to use actual consumer behavior as the planning target. We have seen tremendous lifts in the efficiency we can create for advertisers and are starting to prove that this increased targeting efficiency can yield higher ROI.”

The Time Warner Medialab is a state-of-the-art facility opened in 2012 to allow Time Warner and its business partners an opportunity to understand consumer behavior as it relates to content and distribution across all platforms. This on-site facility incorporates cutting-edge technologies and research techniques providing an unmatched ability to identify and interpret consumer trends, behavior and media habits.