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GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers' experiences and choices.

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    • 08/22/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    A new wrinkle in over-the-top TV services: vMVPDs not so virtual anymore

    In the ever-changing world of delivering video to TVs and homes, real bellwether moments can sometimes slip by us. But the appearance on the scene of the awkwardly named vMVPDs (virtual multichannel video programming distributors) could well be such a moment.  These “skinny bundle” services offer a variety of broadcast and cable networks via on-demand streaming — and at least some channels are available to stream “live” when broadcast. The potential of this new OTT wrinkle is huge. Delivering live programming and events as they happen has been a key differentiator for traditional pay TV services as they try to fend off streaming service providers. Now, services like DirecTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue can begin to offer competing live programming – the opening of a potential floodgate in video media.

    Innovation worth watching

    We measured vMVPDs for the first time this year in our long-running The Home Technology Monitor™. The new Ownership and Trend Report shows that 3% of TV homes subscribe to one of the vMVPDs listed above. (It was too early to measure either Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV). Now, three percent may seem like a “blip” if there ever was one – but every real innovation has to start somewhere. And this one in the media industry has definitely found to be worth watching. That is why we decided to collect additional information on vMVPD homes — but, as there were only 82 of them, consider the following to be directional findings, not definitive. Looking at those homes which report DirecTV NOW, Sling TV or Playstation Vue subscriptions, we find very similar levels of adoption among the three – there is not a dominant player at this point in time by any means.

    Who is subscribing to vMVPD services?

    Perhaps most interesting is where these vMVPD homes came from, in terms of reception. A small minority – just one in six – of these homes were “uncorded” before subscribing to their vMVPD service. Half cancelled regular pay TV service. And almost exactly one-third report they also have “regular” pay TV service.  And all report having a TV set and almost all say they stream to a TV set in some manner. Thus the vMVPD home is far from the cord-cutting, TV-less home some may have expected. However, if one counts vMVPD homes in the same bucket as “pay TV” – something on which there was not a consensus from our Home Technology Monitor subscribers – then the pay TV home decrease is offset, and its level holds relatively steady compared with last year. This is a definite silver lining in these difficult days for cable networks, if not their traditional MVPD partners.

    An improved user experience for viewers?

    vMVPDs with live TV will likely remain a hot topic in 2017,  as additional competitors join in — whether streaming-first brands (Hulu and YouTube) or, as rumored, traditional MVPD services. These services are banking on consumers accepting a smaller selection of networks and the promise of an improved viewer user experience compared with traditional providers. While vMVPDs will certainly be of interest to a sizable viewer niche, expansion outside the obvious Cord Cutters/Cord Never targets will require a high level of consumer satisfaction and the ability to deliver desired content. People may have many complaints about their interactions with their cable providers and their costs, the actual delivery of television to the home by pay TV tends to be very reliable – which can’t always be said for video streaming. We also see many local TV markets are still unserved by the new “live TV” streaming from broadcast networks because of affiliate agreements – the network O&Os are available, but availability outside of those markets is still sparse. But these are still early days, and several more years will likely be needed to accurately assess the long-term traction of vMVPD-type services. With several notable players all in on vMVPDs (Hulu, YouTube, AT&T, DISH and Sony) and several notables sitting it out (Amazon, Apple), it will certainly make for an interesting period for researchers, competitors and consumers. Get similar insights – and many more – as soon as they get published by subscribing to The Home Technology Monitor in 2017. Aside from our annual Ownership and Trend Report, our report topics this year include Commanding Media (voice commands), Over-the-Top TV, TV Everywhere and SVOD Digital Purchase Journey. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '9e81766d-3de3-4a41-b18f-755b81cf461d', {});
    • 08/22/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right

    Download our white paper in which we’ve identified six core activities that you need to master in order to make the right pricing decisions.
    • 08/21/17
    • Careers
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Jutta Suchanek and Benjamin Jones join GfK’s Executive Leadership Team

    GfK appoints Jutta Suchanek and Benjamin Jones as members of the Executive Leadership Team in where both will take on newly created roles.
    • 08/16/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Panels
    • Global
    • English

    Curating an answer to deeper consumer understanding through data

    This post was co-authored by Natasha Stevens and Michelle Morgan At a time when surveys seem to be under a kind of siege – viewed by some as backward and outdated – let me go out on a limb: Surveys have never been more important or relevant. Yes, behavioral data can tell us exactly what people do – no guessing or memory jogging required. But there are also restrictions; we may only know, for example, what people are doing within a single environment – online or in store. And while behavioral information can provide extremely rich consumer insight, it often cannot tell us why people do things: what they were hoping for, whether they were disappointed, and their feelings about the brands in their lives.

    The challenge for researchers

    Surveys can help us fill in all of these gaps; and yet we also know that consumers’ patience with long questionnaires – especially on smartphones – is shrinking. The challenge for smart researchers, then, is: How can we use surveys only when they will provide unique and indispensable information, but quit before our returns start to diminish? The answer is doubling down on a skill unfamiliar (and perhaps unsettling) to many researchers — data curation. Here we use different data sets, often from very diverse sources, to create the complete picture we need of consumers’ preferences and behavior. By linking two or more data sets through carefully developed criteria, we can focus our survey takers on giving us only the information we can obtain nowhere else.

    Data curation in action

    One recent example of data curation in action was inspired by the looming changes in US healthcare and insurance. Survey data capturing public opinion on US healthcare reform is abundant – much of it focused on the specifics of the policy itself, with respondents generally profiled according to their political affiliation. We wanted to develop a profile of survey respondents that went beyond party politics and looked more deeply at motivations and personal characteristics around health. Using KnowledgePanel®, the largest probability-based online panel in the US, supplemented with key health psychographic variables from MRI’s gold-standard Survey of the American Consumer®, we were able to develop a more nuanced picture of our survey takers. The MRI-KnowledgePanel® fusion allowed us to integrate health-related profile data for KnowledgePanel® members – such as body mass index (BMI), information about chronic physical and mental health conditions, and health insurance status – with 25 health psychographic variables from MRI. We found that those who disapprove of the Affordable Care Act are less likely to believe that generic drugs are as good as brand-name drugs. In addition, they are more likely to be the first to try advanced medication and more likely to agree that medication has improved their quality of life. Using the integrated databases, we were able to add a number of high-value characteristics to the mix without additional questions or fees; these included presence of chronic health conditions, medication compliance, body-mass index, and body image.

    Deeper insights from fused data

    By mastering data integration and curation, we can deepen our insights from any one source. In our healthcare example, the fused data allowed us to develop a richer and more robust profile of survey respondents than we could achieve with KnowledgePanel® data alone. With the right data resources and expertise, this new approach creates almost infinite possibilities for expanded insights. Natasha Stevens is Executive Vice President of Digital Experiences at GfK. Michelle Morgan is the Research Director of Data and Insights Integration. To share your thoughts please email natasha.stevens@gfk.com or michelle.morgan@gfk.com.  hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'c8ef7288-c2e0-4cae-86a4-a0d3535430e8', {});
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