Study: IPG Is 'Necessity'

Gemstar-TV Guide and Comcast Spotlight unveil study of viewers' engagement with interactive program guides

November 27, 2007

3 Min Read

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK -- Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMST - News), a leading media, entertainment and technology company, and Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, today unveiled findings from a national study by Lieberman Research Worldwide evaluating television viewers’ level of engagement with Interactive Programming Guides (IPGs). This is the first major study of its kind to be released into the market in the last five years. The findings show that IPGs are considered a necessity for viewing and a valuable medium for entertainment marketers.

Key Findings

Users want their IPG! (and use it all the time)

  • At least eight out of ten i-Guide* users agree that they always use their IPG to find what to watch and their IPG is a necessity for their viewing experience.

  • I-Guide users agree that their IPG makes them aware of programs they didn’t know about, is the best information source about TV programs and episodes, and enhances their overall TV viewing experience.

  • The vast majority of i-Guide users agree that they use their IPG when they first sit down to watch TV, when a new program begins, during commercial breaks and when they’re bored with what they’re watching.

  • One-quarter of i-Guide users report using their IPG every/or almost every time a commercial comes on.

In an era of consumer choice, consumers are looking for guidance.

  • Two-thirds of TV viewers decide what to watch after they sit down, switching on their TV sets with no specific destination in mind.

The IPG is an essential planning and viewing tool, and its features offer opportunities to promote premium channels, VOD, and program planning.

  • 65 percent turn to their IPGs while watching programs to see what’s on other channels.

  • One-quarter lean on their IPGs to check for shows airing later in the week.

  • 85 percent of i-Guide users report turning to the IPG when a commercial comes on.

IPG advertisements have high response rates: 50 percent of consumers who see them take action. Viewers are very likely to interact with ads placed on IPGs, especially those related to TV shows or sporting events.

  • One-half of i-Guide users report noticing ads on their IPG at least once a week.

  • One-half of i-Guide users noticing IPG advertisements say they have clicked on the ad, with about one-fifth clicking on ads at least once a week.

  • Two-fifths of i-Guide users noticing IPG ads recall seeing an ad for a specific TV program or sporting event.

  • Noticing TV program ads often leads to viewing, with seven out of ten of those who recalled an ad saying they actually watched the program.

  • Almost 40 percent of those who recalled seeing a movie/event advertised, ordered it.

“These findings are particularly poignant with the FCC deadline for digital transition looming. The future of TV requires proper navigation tools that narrow the vast programming universe into a manageable menu of viewing options to the two-thirds of viewers who sit down to watch TV with no specific destination.” said Richy Glassberg, senior vice president and director of ad sales, Gemstar-TV Guide. “IPGs have really evolved from a nice ‘extra’ to ‘can’t live without it’ status and we should see viewers’ reliance on IPGs grow as powerful enhancements to functionality are built into the guide experience.”

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. (Nasdaq: GMST)

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