“The demo didn’t evolve, it’s just endured” since the 1960s when ABC promoted the measurement to sell ads on American Bandstand, Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin told ad buyers this morning at his company’s upfront presentation. That’s a problem he says because “demos just measure eyeballs. Today it’s about engagement.” For example he noted how Conan O’Brien uses social media to rally fans and how TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles inspires viewers to write stories based on the characters, “There’s so much more we can do with analytics,” Koonin says. He says that his company is working with Facebook “in an unprecedented way” to generate “the type of deep research that hasn’t been done before.…The more we know, the faster we move from delivering demos to delivering engagement.”

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Koonin said is a good time to change the measurement paradigm, he says, now that cable networks have reached a “tipping point” in their relationship vs broadcast. “Over the past decade the term ‘basic cable’ has become an oxymoron. There’s nothing basic about it.” Continuing the industry’s embrace of technology, Koonin also touted the streaming initiative his company announced this morning. It will “make our brands even stronger,” he says.

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