Tag Archives: online sample

Taming the Social Media Monster: How Companies Can Use Social Media

There’s no doubt about it, social media has turned the business world on its head and revolutionized the ways in which companies interact with consumers. Social networks give brands access to an unprecedented volume and variety of consumers, and those consumers aren’t just young people. 27.5 million users over the age of 55 engage in social media, according to a study by qSample. It’s become an integral part of people’s lives. Even on the go, people need to check their profiles, with 60% of millenials having said they use their smartphones for social networking. The power of word-of-mouth and the consumer voice has been magnified to compete on the same level as traditional advertising, and people freely give more information than any marketer could have dreamed of collecting 20 years ago. With so many new options available, many companies are left without a clue where to start, and some even reject social media marketing entirely instead of working to perfect their campaign. Taming the social media monster can be challenging, but it’s well worth the effort. Whether B2C or B2B, there’s more to social media than simply having a profile.

The most important aspect of social media is communication. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide companies with direct access to consumers and clients, but people aren’t satisfied with one-sided conversations anymore. They have thoughts and ideas that they want to be heard, and social media provides a platform for that happen. Businesses can take advantage of this by collecting feedback and ideas to cater their products to what consumers actually want. Social media allows brands to test and perfect ideas through consumer feedback at extremely low cost, but research and development isn’t the only department that has benefited greatly from the advent of social media, PR has as well. In the event of a crisis, social media provides companies with a place to keep consumers informed and allow them to answer questions. In addition to this, it allows companies to control the messages sent to consumers, which avoids the negative perspectives given by news outlets.

Communication is one aspect of engagement marketing, but there are many others that can also be used. Consumers want to be involved, and social media is the perfect place to do that. One of the best ways to allow people to participate is through crowdsourcing. Contests that ask consumers to design a new logo, or even film their own commercial for a product are an example that can cut costs for a business while empowering consumers and building loyalty. Encouraging shares, likes, and other digital word-of-mouth advertising is cheap and creates a sense of community around the brand as well. By aligning the company’s goals with what the consumer wants, everyone involved can benefit.

Taming the Social Media Monster

Social media sites collect an incredible amount of data on consumers. Most people don’t realize just how much information ey give out online. Name, age, and birthdates are obvious, but even simply liking a page or post can give marketers an extraordinary insight into people’s lives. It’s not uncommon for addresses, marital statuses, and even current locations to be given by users. For businesses, social media can provide insights on known target demographics, or even help a company identify potential new targets.

The digital age is here, traditional marketing has become antiquated, and businesses must adapt by joining social media sites. Consumers demand more than a one-sided conversation. They want to be involved, and social media is the perfect place for engagement marketing. The variety of users and their willingness to give useful information can provide marketers with insights and data collection tools that would have seemed unbelievable only a few years ago. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, social media is the place to be.

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to large segments of general consumers, qSample cultivates high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include:
Mobile Users, Gamers, Voters, Contractors, Home Owners, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.
You can find more information by clicking on the “Panels” tab above, or contact qSample here

How Can Businesses Recover Consumer Trust After A Data Breach?

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center and a review of corporate disclosures by CNN Money, nearly half of all adult Americans have already been hacked in 2014, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Last week qSample published an article on how consumers can avoid data theft, but consumers aren’t the only ones that are effected.

Cyber Criminals are becoming bolder and more sophisticated. Two weeks ago, Domino’s Pizza announced a breach of customer information as well. Cyber-criminals swiped consumer names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information. The hackers demanded around $40,000 through twitter in exchange for not releasing the data. Domino’s refused to pay the ransom, and the twitter account has since been suspended. Hackers aren’t just more sophisticated than ever, they’re also more organized, and they’re willing to go after any company, big or small. AT&T, Michaels, Sally Beauty, Neiman Marcus, AOL, Adobe, Snapchat, and eBay have all been breached in the past year.

Last December, Target captured headlines around the world when debit and credit card information for 40 million customers was stolen. The breach represented a massive blow to ecommerce and company-consumer relationships that left Target scrambling to recapture customer trust.

How can a company regain the trust of consumers when 40 million credit/debit cards are lost to hackers? How can that company regain trust in itself? qSample decided to take a look into how consumer trust can be regained after a cyber attack:

Data Theft Businesses

1. Apologize
This step is simple, but often overlooked. Whether the breach was the result of corrupted employees or neglected security provided by a third-party, consumers will always place the blame directly on the shoulders of the business that “leaked” their information. It’s pointless to try to shift the blame, and doing so could even make the company look worse. Accepting responsibility and releasing a public statement of apology can go a long way in regaining trust. In any case, “I’m sorry”, is free, and it opens a line of communication between the consumer and the company.

2. Neutralize the Damage
Unfortunately, many customers realize that words are cheap, and demand more than a simple apology statement. They want actions to be taken. A company must neutralize the damage. In the case of the Target credit card leak, all charges made with leaked cards were covered by Target, a fact that is stated on Target’s website, but one that many consumers didn’t know. Informing consumers of standard consumer protection policies could have helped mitigate the situation in a better way. This again highlights the importance of communication.

3. Prevention
After the damage has been neutralized, consumers want to know what has been done to prevent data theft from happening again. Measures must be taken to prevent similar breaches in the future. In an effort to prevent this type of situation from happening again, Target announced that security chips would be integrated into Target REDcards and stores by early 2015, 6 months ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, this was still over a year away for consumers.

4. Encourage Immediate Consumerism
Once it’s clear that a breach cannot happen again, a business can encourage immediate consumerism. No customer will be excited to return to an online marketplace that recently endured a data breach, but given the proper incentives, they may return more happily. Discounts, sales, and other short term promotional activities can be used to pull consumers through the virtual door and encourage immediate purchases. This can help reverse declining sales after a data breach and provide some cash flow for the company. Target offered a brief 10% discount to consumers that visited Target stores after the data breach. Unfortunately, many employees weren’t even aware of the reason for the sale, and even fewer consumers knew what it was for.

5. Cultivate Loyalty
Loyalty programs such as reward points and company credit cards can be used to fortify long-term consumerism. After a cyber attack, customers need to be reminded that loyalty to the brand is rewarded, not punished. By offering exclusive deals to frequent customers, businesses can reassure consumers and increase repeat visits.

While it’s important to recover consumer trust after a cyber attack, the best marketers look past simply recovering, and search for ways to take advantage of the situation.

James Hickey, an entrepreneur, consultant, and member of qSample’s Marketing Experts group took an interest in how the public interest caused by a Data Theft situation could be used to collect more data from consumers. He had this to say:

“When a large business has a data-theft problem, it can draw regional or national attention to their company and brand. One of the best ways to take advantage of this would be to send out some surveys addressing the problem but as part of the survey, you could get some other questions about your business that could be helpful. More people are apt to fill out a survey during this time and you could get some great data about other parts of your business during this time”

This isn’t the only way that a company can take advantage of a data breach. For instance, Target could have leveraged policies involving the current REDcard to build consumer trust, encourage immediate purchases, and even cultivate loyalty among its consumers with very little effort. According to Target’s official website, all fraudulent charges made with the Target REDcard are covered by Target’s insurance. This is a fact that few customers are aware of, but one which Target should have been announcing from the rooftops. By encouraging use of REDcards, and telling consumers about the covered risk of fraudulent charges, Target could facilitate immediate purchases with promotional tactics aimed at REDcard holders, and loyalty through currently existing REDcard Loyalty programs. All of these aspects are currently in place, but consumers simply aren’t aware of them. Communication is vital to building trust, and simply by telling consumers about pre-existing policies, rewards, and programs, Target could have not only recovered consumer trust, but also cultivated loyalty and converted consumers to its REDcard program.

Trust is not easily given, and it can take a great deal of effort to rebuild it once it’s lost. Through recovering from a data breach, communication is crucial. Consumers want to know that a company will take responsibility, reverse the damage, and prevent similar problems in the future. Even while recovering, marketers should consider how the situation can be used to benefit the company. Data theft has become an online epidemic, but it presents opportunities for the intelligent marketer that can be utilized for more than just recovery.

###

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to large segments of general consumers, qSample cultivates high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include:
Mobile Users, Gamers, Voters, Contractors, Home Owners, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.
You can find more information by clicking on the “Panels” tab above, or contact qSample here

Top 5 Home Improvement Projects for the Summer

Summer is an excellent time to start looking at areas of your home that might need some remodeling. With cold winters and wet springs, a house can endure a lot of seasonal stressors.

Wind, snow, ice and rain all take their toll, which makes summer a great time to assess what damage has been done. Though hot and humid, there tends to be less adverse weather in the summer months. This removes certain complications that could come with winter construction projects, such as dealing with ice and materials that expand due to shifts in temperature and sunlight exposure. While there could be any number of structural issues that require attention around the house, here are five renovation ideas to consider this summer:

Home Improvement Projects Infographic

1. Clean, Repair or Replace the Gutters
A simple yet important task to consider this summer is examining the condition of gutters. After a year of seasonal changes, summer is an optimal time to schedule an inspection.

Strange leaks, water splashing out during rainstorms and standing water are all signs the gutters are going to need repair or even replacement. You should also consider the possibility of installing self-cleaning gutters to help sustain their longevity throughout the years.

2. Install New Siding
Although the freezing rain and wind have passed, their effects can still resonate in your home’s siding. The first step is deciding whether or not the current siding materials are helping the homeowner conserve energy. Next, schedule a professional inspection of the siding to identify any current or potential problems.

If the material covering the house is vinyl, it’s very likely a large portion of the siding will have to be replaced if there’s been any damage from previous months. This is because vinyl cannot be repaired.

If you need to replace your vinyl siding, consider experimenting with modern alternatives. For example, fiber cement siding is stronger than vinyl and is more prepared withstand the stresses of winter.

3. Repair and Seal Decks and Porches
Summer is a great time to enjoy sitting on the porch or deck, but before you get too comfortable, make sure these outdoor areas survived the winter. During colder months, water can seep into the cracks of concrete and freeze, pushing the material out and causing cracks. Frigid temperatures are also tough on wood decks, and in areas that experience snow, it’s sometimes hard to keep the wood healthy and in optimal condition.

Repairing these areas and sealing cracks can help ensure they last through another winter. If you hire the right contractor to handle the job, your deck could possibly be just about as strong and visually attractive as when it was new.

4. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
During the past several years, there’s developed a growing interest in ways to keep temperatures low without the need for constant air conditioning. This helps the environment and saves money at the same time.

Fiberglass and vinyl offer great energy-efficiency compared to wood, and they don’t require as much upkeep. Looking into how different types of glass may be able to improve the functionality of existing windows is also a great idea.

5. Metal Roofing
If it fits the budget, installing a metal roof is one of the smartest decisions a homeowner can make. It can easily increase the property’s value and reduce power cost. Metal roofs also last longer than asphalt shingles—and with less maintenance. The color and texture is entirely customizable, making metal a versatile roofing material.

Metal roofs are particularly effective at keeping the home interior cool during warmer months. They reflect sunlight away from the house, an advantage that can be enhanced by special coatings and finishes. Quality metal roofs also withstand snow, rain and even hail much better than traditional asphalt shingles, making them a practical choice to prepare a home for adverse weather.

Summer is not only a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s also an opportunity to improve the condition of a building and even make it more energy efficient. By taking the time to inspect the different areas of your home, and taking action to make repairs or replacements as necessary, you can help maintain your property’s value, as well as its structural integrity, no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.

About the Author
Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul is a guest blogger for qSample and also writes for the Global Home ImprovementHe strives to educate people about “green” products such as metal roofing and solar.

10 Things To Know About Amazon’s Fire Phone

A recent study by qSample showed that more than 60 percent of the mobile phones in the U.S. are smartphones.

$7.19 billion will be spent on mobile ads next year, per the study’s findings. In 2016 that number is expected to triple to more than $21 billion. It comes as no surprise Amazon made quite the splash yesterday when they announced their own smartphone, Fire Phone.

Below are ten things to know about Amazon’s Fire Phone.

1.It has 3D technology.
The Fire Phone has four infrared cameras, one tucked away in each corner, that can easily track the position and movement of the phone user’s head, which creates a 3D effect with the impression of depth as their perspective shifts.

2.  The “Firefly” button.
When you press this button the phone will start to scan the real world for bar codes, book covers, magazines and phone numbers. It also has the capability to identify songs and videos by listening for the audio track. Amazon says Firefly can identify more than 100 million items.

3. The camera looks phenomenal.
The 13-megapixel shooter is said to be better than both the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S. It has optical image stabilization built in and the five-element, wide aperture lens should deliver decent photos even in poor light, and there’s a dedicated physical camera button to bring up the app within about a second.

4. It has Mayday support.
Similar to Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet, the Mayday button provides near-instant tech support over video chat, and “ASAP” pre-loads videos based on your viewing habits, so you spend less time buffering.  Amazon says it takes on average 15 seconds to get someone on the line.

5. It’s a media-heavy device.
One of the phone’s feature’s is known as ASAP- which is a tool that predicts which movies and TV shows you might want to watch and then immediately starts loading them up. The Fire Phone also has the second-screen X-Ray functionality seen on the Kindle Fire tablets.

6. It has a variety of navigational gestures.
You can quickly tilt the device in different directions to pull up panels with additional UI elements.

7. It comes equipped with Amazon services.
The Fire Phone includes one year of Amazon Prime service, which normally costs $99. This includes a selection of streaming video, streaming music and e-book rentals, and Amazon is throwing in unlimited photo storage as well.

8. No could restriction.
The Fire Phone offers unlimited storage of everything on your phone via its Amazon cloud drive.

9. The earbuds might be the best smartphone earbuds yet.
They have a flat cable and magnetic buds that snap together when not in use, helping them avoid getting tangled in your pocket.

10. It’s only available at AT&T and the price isn’t cheap.
There was talk Amazon was going to mix up the pricing model for smartphones, but the Fire Phone costs about the same as any other high-end hand set. It starts at $200 with 32 GB of storage, or $300 with 64 GB of storage. You can also buy it without a contract for $649 to $749.

Is Amazon on to something here? Can one assume the Fire Phone comes equipped with all of their services in an attempt to draw other smartphone users to the overall lure of Amazon and all it has to offer? Only time (and market research) will tell.

****

qSample’s mobile panel consists of more than 500,000 active smartphone users around the globe who are uniquely identified with device identifiers (UDID), pre-screened and highly qualified to participate in a variety of research studies of any level of specificity. To find more information on qSample’s Mobile Panel, click here

Who Are Today’s First-Time Homebuyers?

First-time homebuyers make up about 40 percent of the current market; in 2010 this number was as high as 50 percent.

On average, the median age for a first-time homebuyer in the U.S. has ranged between 30 and 32 over the last 30 years, according to statistics from the National Realty Association. As more millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 34) are reaching this age, housing experts have noted that many of them are postponing their entrance into the housing market.

Millennials are choosing to rent, or live at home with their parents longer than the generation before them. The slow pace of economic recovery along with tightened credit and the staggering amount of outstanding student debt – approaching $1 trillion – is packing a punch on the millennial generation.

With tightened credit, many defaulting young borrowers are no longer able to qualify for loans, especially mortgages. In 2005, nearly nine percent of 25- to 30-year-olds with student debt were granted a mortgage. But last year, that percentage dropped to slightly above four percent, according to a FRBNY report.

According to a recent real estate study by Truilia, more than 50 percent of millennials are asking their parents and/or grandparents for help with meeting guidelines for a mortgage loan. Approximately 37 percent said they would get a second job to afford a home and 22 percent would consider a government-sponsored program.

Historically, government programs like loans back by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have been popular with homebuyers who did not have the typical 20 percent down payment. However, news of rising fees has made some young borrowers leery about going this route. Many factors could be at play for this recent trend: result of a shortage of homes for sale inventory, home prices rising, slower levels of overall real estate value appreciation (thus not supporting the higher prices), rising interest rates, high levels of student loan debt, and (perhaps the biggest factor) historically lower overall employment for 25-34 year olds.

When the millennials are ready to purchase a home, many are surpassing the typical “starter home” and are settling on homes that are priced above average than what the average first-time buyers before them were purchasing.

First time home owners

The typical first-time homebuyers today aren’t what they were 40 years ago. They are no longer newly married couples moving out to the suburbs to raise a family.  Today, single women make up a large percentage of first-time buyers, as do gay couples and the always-connected mobile professional.  The new generation of first-time homeowners is incredibly tech savvy and often they want their home to reflect this.

Millennials want smart homes instead of luxury homes. New generation home buyers would like their homes equipped with the technological capabilities they have grown accustomed to. Some even go so far as to install home automation systems. With one tap on a touch screen, the owner of that home could remotely lock/unlock doors to let in their kids from school, automatically turn on the A/C or heat before they leave work, or monitor the family dog via webcam smaller. They are choosing function over curb appeal.

Today’s first time homebuyers are also choosing to go green inside their homes. Studies show millennials are willing to spend a little more money on eco-friendly appliances and high-energy efficient heating and cooling systems than previous first-time buyers. They want a home with a smaller carbon footprint and they are willing to take the necessary steps to be able to achieve this.

 

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to the Homeowner Panel, qSample cultivates other high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include: Mobile Users, Gamers, Voters, Contractors, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.

 

 

Google’s Driverless Car Faces Significant Roadblocks

A few weeks ago, Google unveiled a new prototype of the driverless car, and sparked the imagination of people around the world. Unlike previous models, this version was designed entirely by Google and contains no steering wheel or pedals, making it the company’s first model to be entirely self-controlled. Consumer reactions were mixed, with excitement and support on one side, and skepticism on the other.

Google isn’t the first company to test a driverless car. The idea of a self-guiding vehicle has been around since the automobile was first created, and inventors have been testing prototypes since the 1920’s, but no one has been more successful than Google. This new prototype is the first of its kind that completely removes the steering wheel and pedals from the passenger’s control. Google announced plans to build 100 electric powered prototypes for thorough testing in the near future, which will be built by an unnamed company in Detroit. Those models will have a limited top speed of only 25mph for safety reasons, and should be road-ready within a year. Google isn’t the only company that is working on driverless car technology however, and some are even experimenting with larger vehicles. Peloton Technology, based in California, is currently testing self-driving systems in semi-trucks. Their program, which allows tractor-trailers to follow each other very closely in convoys, decreases wind resistance and fuel costs up to 10% for trailing vehicles, and 4.5% for leading ones. This could be substantial in an industry where fuel represents 40% of operating costs.

The practical applications are obvious, and companies are scrambling to spearhead the industry, but is society really ready for a driverless car? One major roadblock is human nature. People tend to be scared of new technology, especially when it removes control from them. According to a Harris poll of 2039 adult consumers, 88% of motorists indicated that they would be worried about riding in a driverless car, meaning that only 12% would feel no apprehension. Although many have embraced self-driving vehicles as a technology for the near future, some think of them as psychopathic vehicles that will terrorize motorways and run down innocent children in school playgrounds. Fortunately, Google has embraced the natural reaction of the public and is working to cultivate acceptance through strict testing.

Like any new technology, the driverless car is hampered by many problems and concerns. The systems used in Google’s prototypes are state-of-the-art, but still require a substantial amount of testing before they can even be considered for use by the public. Even with testing, things could still go wrong. Hardware can always malfunction, and programs can encounter errors. Consumers can’t trust their laptops not to crash, let alone a self-driving vehicle. In addition to this, a driverless car could be hacked or sabotaged. 39% of drivers surveyed indicated that they would be worried about hacking. The consequences of tampering with a computer-driven vehicle could be horrific. Therefore it is crucial that driverless cars be fitted with anti-virus software, and have safety features to prevent accidents in the event of a malfunction.

Legislation and regulations represent a significant problem as well. 59% of drivers surveyed would be worried about liability issues. Before a driverless car can operate on public roads, many questions have to be answered by legislators. For example: If a driverless car parks in a no-parking zone, who will receive the ticket? Should it be the manufacturer’s fault because the no-parking zone wasn’t programmed in? Or would the owner be ticketed for not supervising his vehicle’s actions? In addition to this, modern traffic laws are designed to accommodate human drivers. Artificial intelligence can respond to situations with staggering speed. Should driverless cars be allowed to drive faster and follow other vehicles at a shorter distance to mitigate traffic conditions? It may be some time before laws can be put in place to integrate human and computer controlled vehicles, and until those issues are solved, the driverless car will remain an ambitious dream.

Unfortunately, modern society is not ready to embrace a driverless car, but there is hope. Each of these problems represent a challenge and an opportunity for growth. If there is any company with the money and technological might to make the self-driving vehicle a reality, it’s Google, but it will not be an easy process. Challenges must be overcome, ideas must be accepted, and people must allow technology to flourish. It is human ingenuity that will pave the way for intelligent technology. For every roadblock in the path of the driverless car, there is a solution that can lead to bigger and better things.

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to general Consumers, qSample cultivates high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include: Mobile Users, Gamers, Voters, Contractors, Home Owners, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.

Going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup? It’s Going to Cost You!

According to the U.S. consulate in Rio, more than 187,000 tickets have been purchased by American credit cards and 80,000 U.S. visitors are expected to attend the Cup.

In the infographic below we break down a few of the costs Americans can expect to spend if they’re planning to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup in just one week. Would you be willing to pay the price?

FIFA World Cup

Infographic on travel costs for FIFA 2014

Choosing The Right Paint Color For The Right Room

081308_painttips01

The number of people planning to take on home improvement and decorating projects this year has increased by more than 12 percent from this time last year.

More people are fixing up their homes with the intent to live in them longer than ever before. For most homeowners, they are simply starting with the color of paint on their walls.

Paint has the power to transform a room.

Understanding the power of color flow allows homeowners to create both a beautiful and harmonious living atmosphere. The colors that you choose to put on your walls affect your mood and perception, so choosing the right color for the right room is essential.

Bedroom-
For bedrooms, it is best to stay away from high-energy colors like deep red or bright green. Bedrooms are a place for relaxation so more calming colors like blue and grey are often more suitable.

We suggest “Kyrpton” from Sherwin-Williams.

Kitchen-
Yellow is a great color for kitchens because it is friendly and welcoming, yet not too loud or disturbing. Yellow is also known to complement most times of kitchen cabinetries.

Red is frequently used in kitchens because that is a color known to cause hunger. So if you’re going on a diet, we wouldn’t recommend painting your kitchen or dining room any shade of red.

We suggest “Canary Song” from Glidden Paint.

Bathroom-
Neutral colors that reflect well on skin tones are great for bathrooms. It’s also important to choose colors that give off a clean and refreshing feeling.

We suggest “Manchester Tan” from Benjamin Moore.

Home Office-
If you google “the most productive color” the results will show that blue is the answer. Blue is a color that is known to stimulate the mind and increase focus, which makes it a great color for painting a home office.

We suggest “Sea Rover” from Behr.

Living Room-
Using dark tones in a living room can create a warm and cozy feel. Stay away from over stimulating colors like red or bright yellow, because a living room is meant to be a place of relaxation.

We suggest “Sea Wave” from Valspar.

Remember, the paint on your walls sets the tone for the room. What tone are you trying to set?

Why Are We Paying for 200 Channels When We Only Watch 17?

According to a preliminary study by Nielesen, on average, Americans only watch 17 TV channels out of the 200 that are typically available. Since this is considerably less than most of us pay for, qSample decided to take an extensive look into how and why we watch what we do.

To better understand their TV viewing habits, we conducted a survey with more than 300 cable subscribers, gauging their perception, attitude, and preferences. The survey was fielded during the first week of May, and the results showed that 69% of subscribers watch more than three hours of TV each day, with 20% tuning in for seven or more hours. While it’s no surprise that the majority of viewers use their television set, a good number (10%) of cable subscribers are using their desktops and tablet devices to watch their favorite shows. Movie channels (31%) were the most popular among our panelists when it comes to the type of programming they prefer to watch. News and specialty channels also were significant, with 26% and 25% respectively.

TV infographic 1

Interestingly, our survey shows that Americans would be willing to pay for more channels, providing they’re the right ones. So, why exactly do we watch only 8% of our entire TV channel portfolio? When presented with that question, 36% of our panel members indicated that they were simply comfortable with the channels they currently watch, and weren’t enticed by the rest of their options. In essence, we can conclude that loyalty is a significant factor here. Only 14% cited, “not having enough time”, as the reason they don’t watch the other channels. The remaining 50% proves that content is king among TV viewers, since lack of relevant programming or poor content were cited as the main reasons for viewers not gravitating toward other channels. When asked whether they would prefer to choose which channels were included in their cable/satellite package, more than 93% of survey respondents said yes. So, why are cable subscribers paying for all those extra channels? The lack of customizable packages means that they don’t have a choice.

TV infographic 2

As annoying as advertisements may appear to be, our survey indicated that almost half of TV viewers remain loyal to their favorite channels, regardless of commercials. When they do switch, only 33% indicated they change the channel instantly because a commercial comes on, and 21% claim that they do so if it’s a commercial they don’t like. This poses a dilemma for advertisers, because changing channels increases the number of commercials a viewer is likely to see, but they will only see those commercials for a very short period of time. Clearly the window for programs and commercials to catch the viewer’s interest is very slim. Confirming the issue, our survey showed that when flipping through channels, nearly 37% remain on one for less than 10 second, and another 22% change in under 30 seconds. One solution to the problem can be taken from the world of online advertisements: Make your point very quickly. By cutting down commercial times to 5-10 seconds, advertisers would have the possibility of reaching 95% of channel flippers, and 66% of viewers that don’t switch immediately when a commercial begins. This would also give networks the opportunity to air more commercials and potentially increasing ad revenue, or shrink commercial blocks to increase programming time and viewer retention. When the average viewer only watches 8.5% of their available channels, the television market becomes a battle of content to win the viewers’ attention and loyalty.

The ability to surf through thousands of channels is something we all probably embrace. Even if we don’t have the time to watch them and are only loyal to a few, we like to know that options are there. However, at the core of it all is the freedom of choice. Americans want the freedom to choose what they watch. In our modern world, where programming is relevant and content is king, cable companies have to listen to viewers, or that 8.5% will continue to shrink.

TV infographic 3

Our top 10 FREE Apps for Enjoying the NBA Playoffs!

The NBA Playoffs began on April 19th, and it’s looking to be one for the history books. For the first time since the beginning of the NBA, the Lakers, Celtics, and New York Knicks are all missing from the playoffs at once, but the fans aren’t missing anything.

With TV coverage, live streaming online, smartphone and tablet apps, forums, and much more, the list of ways that fans can interact seems endless. That’s why we looked into the best ways to stay updated and connect with everything.

For smartphones, most people opt for the NBA League Pass app. This app allows users to stream games live, and catch news, scores, alerts, stats, and much more. Usually it costs $55 to receive content, but since the regular season is over it will only cost $16.99 to catch the playoffs. Android users will need the NBA Game time 2014 app to use your league pass.

Of course, not everyone wants to dish out the big bucks for that kind of access, so we’ve also decided to put together a list of Top Ten Currently Popular Playoff Apps for Your iPhone and iPad, and since we want fans to spend their money on something useful, like tickets, snacks, and a bigger TV, all of these apps can be downloaded for free!

Top Ten Currently Popular Playoff Apps for Your iPhone and iPad

1.      WatchESPN

2.      Yahoo Sports

3.      FanFinder – Sports Bar Locator

4.      365Scores – Sports Live Scores, Results & News

5.      Yahoo! Sportacular HD

6.      Betting Odds – Vegas Lines, Picks, Scores

7.      KNBR

8.      Playoff Hoops

9.      Tickets on the Fly

10.  Beyond the Box: Real-time sports Instagram photos and

 

Warning, these apps may be free, but as always, some have fees to unlock features, so the full experience may still cost a few bucks!