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Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) and the Media Behavior Institute (MBI) today (1st March 2010) announced a strategic partnership with the goal of jointly launching a syndicated, consumer-centric, multimedia database that could transform the way media is planned, bought and sold in the US. MRI and MBI are building on a research methodology pioneered by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the United Kingdom’s leading organisation for advertising, media and marketing communications agencies. Launched in 2006, the IPA TouchPoints© initiative now serves more than 50 companies in the U.K.

The announcement was made at the Transformation 2010 conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel.

MRI and MBI are building on a research methodology pioneered by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the United Kingdom’s leading organisation for advertising, media and marketing communications agencies. Launched in 2006, the IPA TouchPoints© initiative now serves more than 50 companies in the U.K.

“Our goal is to create a U.S. database of consumer activity that can serve as a hub of information on all the factors that could affect a consumer’s receptivity to a brand message,” said Kathi Love, President and CEO of MRI.

Formed in 2008, MBI has exclusively licensed the IPA TouchPoints© name and methodology for use in the United States. MRI and MBI intend to create a USA TouchPoints© study that will help marketers target consumers within the context of their daily lives. USA TouchPoints© will offer detailed attitudinal, category and brand purchase behavior for consumers via MRI’s extensive Survey of the American Consumer information, enabling marketers to target the right audience for their products and services when, where and while engaged in the activities that render them most receptive to marketers’ messages.  USA TouchPoints© will cast a uniquely granular light on how media are used throughout the day and week; it will show precisely when, for instance, consumers are using media alone, using several media concurrently and using media concurrent with another life activity. Read the rest of this entry »

Scribd Nielsen Report


Myth: Teens use media—10 screens at a time

Reality: Teens are more likely than adults to use their media one at a time

Popular opinion is that teen media consumers are constantly surrounded by multiple media, but the image of the “typical” teen listening to an iPod, watching TV, texting and browsing the Internet all at the same time, it turns out, is grossly misrepresentative. In 2007, Ball State University’s Center for Media Design conducted an observational study of teen media use, “High School Media Too,” (2007). In the study, researchers found that 23% of the media time among observed teens was concurrent media exposure, where two or more media were in simultaneous use. Put differently, 77% of the time observed, teens were consuming media they were using just one at a time. This level of concurrent use is lower than Ball State researchers saw in older media consumers in the now famous Middletown Media Studies research, also a product of the Center for Media Design. There, 31% of adult media time was concurrent exposure. While teens do multi-task in their media experience, their concurrent behavior may actually be lower than it is among adults. The myth that concurrent exposure is the norm, for teens in particular, sets an important framework as we explore the breadth of the teen media experience.


The Boston Globe

by Ron Fournier

MUNCIE, Ind.—It’s almost noon, almost time for what drew Carey Youngblood and his pals to the abandoned General Motors plant. Hands tucked deep in dirty jeans pockets, the factory men stomp their feet to stay warm as the countdown begins.

(Ten … Nine …)

Youngblood, a stocky 47-year-old with 13 years at GM, eyes the plant’s soot-stained smokestack, the name “Chevrolet” emblazoned in vertical lettering. “My daddy and daddy’s daddy were Democrats,” Youngblood says, “but I wouldn’t claim either party right now.”

Terry Terrell nods his head. “Politicians sold us out.” Read the rest of this entry »

Content Marketing Today

by Newt Barrett

Leading-edge media content from Muncie Indiana attracts big-city marketers. 

In the header of its website Ball State University ties the name of the school to “education redefined.”  You might think that’s simply a meaningless slogan.  But in the case of Ball State, they really walk the walk, particularly with their Center for Media Design.  A recent study in teenage media use illustrates the really cool stuff they’re doing. In fact, taken as a whole, Ball State’s website rocks when it comes to content marketing

Decades ago, when I went to college in Indiana, one would have associated schools in the state with either football (Notre Dame) or basketball (University of Indiana).  You certainly would not have associated Ball State University, which used to be a teacher’s College, with leading-edge research into media usage.


Conducting research that appeals to Fortune 500 marketing executives

Today, David Letterman’s alma mater,is doing an incredible job of delivering world-class content in a number of areas.  But what intrigued me the most is their Center for Media Design. The University is taking advantage of its middle America location in Muncie to do research that is highly valued by marketing professionals on both New York and LA.

As the school puts it:

When the nation’s advertising, marketing, publishing, and broadcasting industries caught wind of the Ball State Center for Media Design’s (CMD) Middletown Media Studies, documenting the average American’s media habits, all eyes turned toward Muncie. The mid-sized Midwestern community is the perfect place for large companies to test their propositions because Muncie has “real people.”

ball state high school research For example, the recently completed a study on teenagers use of media.  This is important for marketers because they want to figure out how the heck can he reach this important audience.   As they CMD does for much of the research they actually shadowed 15 teenagers throughout the day to determining their time with print, TV, Internet.  One major finding: teens spend hundred and 20 minutes a day watching TV in the same amount in front of a computer.  Adults spend twice that amount of time in front of the television. Of course, this has important implications for marketers.


A very cool University.  An excellent website. Great content marketing.

ball state home page The Ball State website takes full advantage of the Web to present itself as a really cool place to go school.  Their website is every bit as sophisticated and useful as that of the best corporate content marketers.  By showcasing the leading-edge work that they’re doing, Ball State makes itself a very appealing University for exceptionally talented kids to attend.

The website and the research it showcases represent the very best of content marketing.  The school is creating intrinsically valuable content and using the Internet to make it available to researchers around the world.  At the same time, the quality of their content suggests that this is a school if you might choose instead of Harvard or Stanford. Be sure to check out what they’re doing online.

Brand Republic

by Jennifer Whitehead

NEW YORK – Nearly all people spend a third of their day using two or more media at the one time, often without even realising that they are doing so, a new report has found.

The Middletown Media Studies II report revealed that people spent an average of nine hours a day consuming media, including watching TV and radio, as well as spending time on their computers, reading books and using the telephone. This makes media the number one activity people spend doing every day, with television by far the most popular medium. Read the rest of this entry »

MediaPost Media Magazine

by Lauren Berger

Teens sound off on cell phones, social networks, and why they can’t log off

E-mail is obsolete, cell phones are rarely used for talking, social networking is an addiction and computers get equal time with TV. Welcome to teenage America.

On a typical weekday morning, 17-year-old Columbus, Ohio high school student Anne McCaffrey wakes up to the soulful whispers of sleepy-voiced rocker, John Mayer, or the twangy chorus of an upbeat Kenny Chesney number – whichever happens to pop up on her iPod playlist first. After a quick shower and last-minute wardrobe change, she searches through hundreds of burned CD’s for a suitable drive-to-school soundtrack. In class, Anne ditches her beloved tunes for the teen-mastered art of stealth texting, engaging in multiple, full-length conversations from beneath her desk. But thanks to an iPod-friendly after-school job twisting pretzels at Auntie Anne’s, the self-proclaimed music junkie can resume her habit. (“The customers don’t mind.”) Read the rest of this entry »


by Mark Glaser

This is the second part of MediaShift’s special series on web measurement. In the first part, I looked at the problem of inconsistent traffic numbers from panel-based measurement firms such as comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings, and the push by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to standardize measurements. This week, I look at the philosophical differences between publishers and advertisers on measurement, consider a new solution by startup Quantcast, and dream the impossible dream of one universal online metric.

With all the web traffic numbers and metrics floating around — page views, unique visitors, time spent, sessions — it’s a wonder that anyone can agree to a simple advertising sale on a website. Complicating matters is that the advertising world is used to traditional measurement services such as Nielsen’s TV ratings that rely on usage by controlled panels of people. Online, those panel-based services can rarely gauge traffic on sites with less than 500,000 unique visitors per month. Read the rest of this entry »

MediaPost Media Magazine

A self-described Mac geek, Michael Corbett is keen on Apple’s new iPhone. As news broke last month about the new gadget, the 24-year-old publishing assistant kept an eye on a Web site that featured live news updates from bloggers attending the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. And, oh yeah, while it was all going on, Corbett listened to a live stream of “The Howard Stern Show” on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Web site.

If this sounds at all familiar, it should – it’s a portrait of the new media consumer – not all that different from the old media consumer, just staggeringly more efficient. Read the rest of this entry »

Broadcasting & Cable

by John Eggerton

In 2004, we reported on a Ball State study of Midwestern TV viewers. And not just any Midwestern viewers, ones in Muncie, Ind., picked because that locale had been identified in sociological studies in the 1920s and ’30s as the typical middle American town.

Hence the dubbing of the surveys as the “Middleton” studies. Read the rest of this entry »

Inside indiana Business

The study looked at computer usage throughout the day in the workplace and at home.

The study shows that computer use begins in large numbers at the start of the work day at 8 a.m., dips during the lunch hour and increases from 1 to 5 p.m. Working adults ages 25 to 64 used computers the most.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

Press Release

MUNCIE, Ind. — The average American spends more time in front of the computer than any other electronic media with the exception of television, and the computer has become a focal point in most workplaces, says a new report from Ball State University.

“The Computer: A Medium for All Reasons,” the latest report from the Center for Media Design (CMD), explores computer-based media usage throughout the day in the workplace and at home.

Not surprisingly, the report finds people tend to use computers most during traditional work hours, said Robert Papper, a telecommunications professor and member of CMD’s research team.

“Computer use begins in large numbers at the beginning of the work day at 8 a.m., dips during the lunch hour and comes back up from 1 to 5 p.m.,” he said. “It then trails off dramatically as people go home to watch television.”

The study also found computer use is higher during the typical Monday through Friday work week rather than weekends.

“While well over half of all media use is in the home, more than two-thirds of all computer use is at work,” Papper said. “As in real estate, location is almost everything in media use. The television dominates at home, radio dominates the car and the computer dominates the workplace. Every category of computer use was higher at work than at home.”

The research in the computer usage report is based on analysis of data collected for the Middletown Media Studies 2 project, in which observers shadowed 350 people from Muncie and Indianapolis for an entire day, recording their media use and life activities, including work, child care and meal preparation.

Other key findings of the report:

· Computer users spent 55.9 percent of time online as compared to 44.1 percent of their time using software. While online, 54.8 percent used Internet browsers while 37.7 percent accessed e-mail programs and 7.6 percent used instant messaging.

· People use the Web for primarily information browsing and searching.

· Participants with dial-up connections at home accessed the Internet more often and spent slightly more time online at home than users with broadband access.

· Working adults ages 25 to 64 had higher rates of computer usage than young people between the ages of 18 to 24. People older than 65 had the lowest rates of computer use.

· About 40 percent of young adults (ages 18-24) did not use a computer during the observed day, preferring to log on late at night.

· There were no significant gender differences in computer use. Men averaged 137.3 minutes per day, and women spent an average of 134.2 minutes per day on the computer.

· Participants with a high school education or less used the computer less than all other education groups. Computer usage increased as income level increased.

Papper noted that one of the biggest surprises in this report is that, at home, broadband users did not spend more time on the Internet than dial-up users.

“Obviously, broadband makes Web use faster, but people appear to be using that speed for efficiency rather than to spend more time online,” he said. “Broadband and dial-up users averaged around 1.5 hours a day online at home. This similarity could be explained by ergonomics. Maybe there’s a limit to how much time people are willing to spend in front of a computer screen.”

Mike Bloxham, CMD’s director of insight and research, said the study clearly showed how the computer has blurred the lines between work and home, and perhaps between work and play.

Researchers found that more than 22.3 percent of online computer use and 44.3 percent of software use at home was work related. At the same time, however, more than 44.2 percent of online computer use at work did not appear to be work related.

“It is a device used for work, communications, accessing information, and learning — and it is increasingly used for entertainment,” he said. “It has managed to achieve this in a relatively short period of time of about 20 years. This is a noteworthy achievement for a new device in the average office and home.”

More information about how to purchase the report and other CMD research is available at

Ball State University, located one hour northeast of Indianapolis in Muncie, Ind., is the third-largest public university in Indiana, with more than 17,700 students.

The Center for Media Design (CMD) is a research and development facility focused on the creation, testing and practical application of digital technologies for business, classroom, home and community.

Middletown Media Studies 2 (MMS2) builds upon Muncie’s reputation as “Middletown America,” a typical community in the United States. Muncie earned this distinction as a result of the Middletown Studies of the 1920s and ’30s by sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd. MMS2 is a follow-up to a 2004 study that found people consume much more media than they say they do.

Source: Ball State University

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb:
March 2021



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