Who's Watching TV?

37 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2016  

Jessica Clark

New York University, Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences, Students

Jean Francois Paiement

AT&T - Research Department

Foster Provost

New York University

Date Written: October 2016

Abstract

TV viewership data available at the individual set-top box level has enabled new methods for estimating the demographics of shows' audiences, but it is impossible to tell with certainty which household members are watching TV in multi-person households. We address this problem through four main contributions. First, we develop a novel method for estimating the likelihood that each individual in a multi-person household is watching. Second, we derive a set of tasks at which models must succeed in order to demonstrate that they have solved the core problem, since there are no ground-truth labels. Third, we evaluate our new method as well as two current state-of-the-art heuristic methods. Fourth, we conduct some example analyses of viewership in the context of living with others. Our solution has implications for advertisers, researchers who seek better understanding TV viewership, and anyone using data generated by shared devices or accounts. A major TV provider is planning on deploying this method for use in their TV ad-targeting system. No personally identifiable information (PII) was gathered or used in conducting this study. To the extent any data was analyzed, it was anonymous and/or aggregated data, consistent with the carrier's privacy policy.

Suggested Citation

Clark, Jessica and Paiement, Jean Francois and Provost, Foster, Who's Watching TV? (October 2016). NYU Working Paper No. ;CBA-16-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2858804

Jessica Clark (Contact Author)

New York University, Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences, Students ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Jean Francois Paiement

AT&T - Research Department

180 Park Ave.
Florham Park, NJ 07932-0971
United States

Foster Provost

New York University ( email )

44 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

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