Warner Seeks University Researcher

By Robert Marich
   Aug. 1 2012- Time Warner Inc. is soliciting universities to be its formal partner in consumer research at an in-house facility in New York City. The company is parent of Warner Bros. Pictures, but perhaps a bigger emphasis is gaining knowledge about consumers for use by its magazine division, and also cable TV networks that include CNN, Turner Network Television, Home Box Office, Cartoon Network and CW Network.
   The Time Warner media lab in New York is a 9,600-square-foot on-site facility that “provides insight into how consumers engage with content and enable ‘hands-on’ testing with the latest in devices and distribution platforms,” says a company web page. “We built the Medialab to help us continue to create best-in-class content for every consumer experience” and understand “the entire 360-degree media-to-retail experience.”
   Existing partners in the lab are research outfits Ipsos, Innerscope and Schlesinger Associates.  Separately, Time Warner has an older media lab in Burbank Cal.
   In a press release announcing the search for a university partner, Time Warner says, “This collaboration will further our collective understanding of consumer behavior, media consumption and how both continue to evolve in the multi-platform environment.”
  Theatrical film distributors use eight types of consumer research—ranging from test screenings of films to tracking surveys gaging consumer awareness prior to release. Most is movie specific and not related to overall media consumption, but understanding media consumption would certainly benefit theatrical marketing.
   In the movie industry generally, a handful of outside research outfits conduct the research as venders to film distributors, as described in a full chapter devoted to theatrical research in Marketing to Moviegoers.

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