Georgia: Better programming thanks to viewer survey app | Europe/Central Asia | DW | 22.04.2020
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Europe/Central Asia

Georgia: Better programming thanks to viewer survey app

In Georgia, local TV stations are conducting audience surveys with an app and using the results to redesign their programs.

DW Akademie Ajara TV in Georgien

Ajara TV's news program after the viewer survey

If this had been a date, it would have been a disaster. The responses included "She needs a stylist – I don't like her clothes or hairstyle" and "Really dull and boring."

These candid criticisms were in fact responses to a viewer survey for Ajara TV, a Georgian TV station, that was organized by DW Akademie.

The audience was asked to rate the hosts and the station's programs using an audience survey app. The initial results were hardly uplifting but were exactly what the station needed: a realistic view of what the audience wanted. The station now had a chance to redesign its programs according to its audience's tastes.  And redesign it did.

DW Akademie Ajara TV in Georgien

"Dull" and "boring" was how those surveyed felt about Ajara TV's programs. The survey was conducted using the Videometics app

Georgia is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country. Part of its diversity is reflected in its numerous local media outlets, especially regional TV stations, that are a prerequisite for the country's democratic society.

But many TV stations are financially weak, in large part because their programs overlook their audiences' needs. The visual quality is so poor that many tune in to Russian stations even though some of those stations only broadcast state propaganda.

DW Akademie Ajara TV in Georgien

With Videometrics, audiences are asked in real time about specific video or audio content, such as reports from a TV or radio station

No advertisers without viewers and no relevance either

A station has to get to know its audience if it wants to understand its needs. However, audience surveys are often too expensive for local TV stations.

This is why DW Akademie's Georgia team cooperated with seven local Georgian TV stations to offer them a cheaper alternative: the viewer survey app Videometrics.

In June 2018, a representative group of viewers evaluated Ajara TV's programs and then explained their responses in focus groups. They also suggested ways that Ajara TV could improve its programs.

"The picture's wobbly and you can't see their heads"

DW Akademie Ajara TV in Georgien

Audience surveys are usually costly but Videometrics, an audience survey app, enabled seven Georgian TV stations to get a better sense of their audiences' tastes

Those surveyed said they wanted more diverse programs and more regional news. They also criticized the hosts' styling as being too stuffy and felt the camera operators badly needed more training.

The TV station could have rejected the critique but instead took it to heart. With the help of DW Akademie and local experts, Ajara TV undertook a major facelift and made changes to their management and marketing approaches. Viewers quickly noticed the improved studio design and more appealing headlines. And yes, even the hosts got makeovers.

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