Time Warner and Nielsen Partner to Study Emotions with Virtual Reality - VR Life

Time Warner and Nielsen Partner to Study Emotions with Virtual Reality

warner and nielsen

Time Warner and Nielsen are becoming partners as they research how content in the form of short videos, affects people’s minds and hearts.

The partnership is set for 3 years and it will enable both companies to research how regular programming and advertising content in videos will make the people watching, feel subconsciously. They’re going to be able to study this information by studying facial movements, eye-tracking, brain activity and people’s heart rate.


For Time Warner, they want to utilize Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience’s technology and research capabilities so that they can get a better grasp on how consumers feel and think at the core.

Researchers will be utilizing EEG (electroencephalogram), to obtain information as for people’s brain activity. The technology can obtain that data in regards to arousal and intensity. So in other words, they’re able to see if a video is really working with the viewer.

The study is going to focus on a few main areas in regards to brain processing: memory activation, emotional motivation and shifts in attention.


A lot of the research is going to be performed at the Time Warner MediaLab.

Kristen O’Hara, Time Warner’s CMO for Global Media, said,”Given the increasing role that VR is going to play with our content and even with our advertisers in the future, I think that alone gives us an interesting opportunity to partner with Nielsen and an unparalleled opportunity to integrate both the biometrics part of research and also the neuroscience piece to help us understand how consumers are really engaging with the VR experience.”

Time Warner and Nielsen have partnered before, so this is really building on that already formed partnership that started in 2012 with Innerscope Research (a company purchased by Nielsen).

There have been studies with neuroscience as it relates to marketing for over 10 years, but companies are now becoming more keen to research and understanding how consumers think.


Virtual reality is only going to increase the amount of companies that want to (and are able to) dive into the realm of studying how their customers really think.

Carl Marci, the Innerscope founder, said, “If you’ve experienced the new technology, you can’t help but feel your heart racing.And I think what our clients and I think this lab is going to be able to do very well is separate the sort of ‘wow factor’ of VR from really full-on engagement with content and advertising. How do you tell stories in a VR environment? How do you make someone who’s engaged in a totally surrounded and immersive environment go from a beginning, middle and end? How do you introduce characters?”

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