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Media Life

by Kevin Downey

Great steps have been made in recent years toward improving how media usage is measured, but a massive new study suggests that much of the data media buyers and sellers rely on is still highly flawed or just plain wrong in the case of data based on people’s recall of their media usage, as with the diary system still in use in many local markets to track TV watching.

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Media Life Interview

By Toni Fitzgerald

Here’s a study that doesn’t mince words: Results of phone surveys on media usage are “largely useless” and responses about as random as throwing darts. That’s the comparison Ball State telecommunications professor Bob Papper used in co-authoring a study about media usage habits among Americans released by the Center for Media Design last week. The study finds very large discrepancies between media usage levels reported by three different methodologies: phone surveys, individual diaries and observation. The most striking came in the area of television. Phone respondents said they watched 121 minutes of TV, diarists recorded 278, and those being observed logged 319 minutes. Other big differences included 29 online minutes per day for phone respondents compared to 57 for diarists and 78 for the observation group. Newspapers recorded the lowest differentials, 15 minutes for the phone, 26 minutes for diaries and 17 minutes for observation. Papper talks to Media Life about research methodology, media multitasking, and why most people would rather claim they read than watch TV.
What surprised you the most about the study?

Three things stand out above others:
1) That phone surveys were as far off the mark as they were.
2) That phone research couldn’t even do an accurate job of determining whether someone used a given medium “yesterday,” much less how much they used it.
3) How extensive media multitasking turned out to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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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