Glenn Enoch is the VP of integrated media research for ESPN Research + Analytics and arguably one of the leading cross-platform researchers in the business. Glenn uses data from both single-source and fused datasets to derive insights on usage of TV, Internet, mobile, audio and print.
 
Glenn, have you done any research on the tablet that you can talk about?
 
Part of the problem with doing research on this is that there are still relatively few people that have a tablet [28MM in June 2011 according to the Online Publishers Association]. I think what happens with these new technologies is that people aren’t really interested in the impact until they have it.  
 
Going back to DVR research at the time TiVo first came out, if you had asked the average person on the street, they might not have known what it was. But if you went to an industry conference, there would be an enormous show of hands from the audience of those who had a TiVo. I think that, especially at ad agencies, they think, “If everyone is watching TV like I am, then I am out of a job.” So it becomes a disproportionate influence in behavior. Tablet research is hard now, because the penetration is small, the incidence level is low and it’s nascent behavior. We’re still just figuring out what the tablet will mean.
 
You’re the creator of the Seven Principles of Cross-Platform Research. Can you tell us about that?
 
Sure. We redoubled our efforts on cross-platform research about three or four years ago. We had a variety of datasets that we were looking at, such as the Nielsen convergence panel, and we had some Knowledge Networks data. Originally when we were presenting our findings, we said, “Well here is what this provider shows and here is what that provider shows…” It was tiresome both for us as well as our clients. What we began to notice was that there were things that seemed to be true across these different data providers and we summarized them into our seven principles. They form the intellectual underpinning of our cross-platform research, certainly on the audience side and we published them in the Journal of Advertising Research in June of 2010.
 
Please tell us briefly what they are. 
 
Basically the seven principles of cross-platform research are:
1. New media create new strata of users. So something like the iPad will be adopted by some of the people – not everybody – and their usage will be in combination with some of the other devices they already have.
2. There are no new metrics necessary for cross-platform research. In fact we need measures that combine the media.
3. You need to separate users from usage.
4. The heavy users from one platform tend to be the heavy users of another platform.
5. Cross-platform use is not zero-sum. Doing on thing on one device doesn’t necessarily mean doing another thing less.
6. Simultaneous use is a widespread behavior, but it is limited in time.
7. People will choose the best available platform based on where they are and what they are trying to do.
 
This is a short segment of a six-part video interview with Glenn conducted by Charlene Weisler and available for viewing on her blog at WeislerMedia. In it, Glenn addresses in depth ESPN’s cross-platform initiatives, his work with CTAM, and ESPN as a company poised for the future.
 
(Charlene Weisler is a research veteran, member of the Set Top Box Collaborative executive committee, the CTAM Research Committee and a CIMM consultant.) 

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