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Time Warner Selects Ball State Proposal in Media Lab Competition

Time Warner Inc. said it has selected a team from Ball State University as the winner in its call for proposals to conduct cutting edge research at its state-of-the-art Medialab in New York.

The Ball State proposal – studying the effects of the second-screen on television consumption – was chosen from more than 30 academic proposals. Time Warner Global Media began soliciting proposals in July. The Time Warner Global Media Group will underwrite the cost of the study for the University.

According to a statement, the University’s second screen study takes advantage of the Medialab’s research methods to reveal how viewers interact with television programs and advertisements through social TV as well as the effect that second screen has on linear viewing.

“In the year since the Medialab opened, we’ve completed more than 70 studies that have provided us with deep insight into the mind of the consumer,” said Time Warner Global Media Group senior vice president and chief marketing officer Kristen O’Hara in a statement. “We wanted to partner with a university to tap into the intellectually curious minds of academia. The second screen study Ball State proposed will effectively use the Medialab to provide new insights on one of the biggest trends in content consumption.”

Ball State’s research team plans to use the Time Warner Medialab’s eye-tracking devices, focus groups and online surveys with panel members to examine television engagement in the contemporary social viewing environment. Participants will watch television while using smartphones and tablets while researchers analyze how viewers interact with programs and ads through social engagement.

“The Time Warner Medialab gives us the opportunity to do a very natural study now that people are more accustomed to social media and have more sophisticated mobile devices,” said Michael Holmes, a Ball State faculty member who has been instrumental in the University’s research on media consumption, in a statement. “The lab’s state-of-the-art equipment allows us to build on prior second screen studies we’ve done at Ball State University, but with more in-depth analysis on qualitative research.”

Time Warner expects the Ball State University second screen study to be completed and the findings revealed by June 2013.