From people meter to decoder

Date of publication: November 11, 1996


The paper describes people meter systems that are used for measuring television ratings and looks at the alternative measurement systems that are given by new media. The Internet is very much in the picture, but does not seem to be able to threaten television for many years to come. A more promising system is interactive television: television mediated by decoders or set top boxes (stb's). For the general public this new medium will be much more important than the Internet. Interactive television will also be more important for some advertising companies than passive’ television. In this study results are given of a pilot in the Netherlands. Although no random sample was available, it seems to indicate that people like interactive programmes and commercials and that they generate very high response and conversion rates. But a warning is given as well: set top boxes that deliver only one kind of service can attract only small target groups. A multiple service set top box will have a much better chance of succeeding.

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