Using EEG Recordings to Predict Video Skipping Behavior and Viewer Interest

November, 2019

Prof. Dr. Ir. Marc Van Hulle, apart from being one of the founding members of Mindspeller, is also an expert in the field of Brain-Computer-Interfacing (BCI). His laboratory recently published a breakthrough study on EEG recordings that can predict whether an individual decides to skip watching a video trailer with 80% accuracy. More importantly, the study could predict an individual’s actual interest level in a particular video. In some instances, for example, it might occur that the individual found the video to be interesting but decided to skip watching it until the end regardless. In this interview, Professor Van Hulle explains the importance of this innovative study for marketers, as well as the potential of using these insights within the field of consumer neuroscience.

Mindspeller: What lessons can a marketer learn from this research?

Prof. Dr. Ir. Van Hulle: Looking at the signal features extracted from the EEG recording, marketers can gain insight into an individual’s engagement and emotional affects while looking at a video, as well as predicting their skipping behavior.

Mindspeller: How do these findings relate to me as a marketer?

Prof. Dr. Ir. Van Hulle: Well, rather than looking at button press statistics, which is the usual way video trailers are evaluated, Mindspeller can detect which video scenes trigger a decrease in viewer interest and/or an increase in likelihood to bail out. This provides greater insight and granularity for marketers to improve their video trailer than the usual post-factum click behavior.

Mindspeller: How can we apply these findings next time when creating and marketing content?

Prof. Dr. Ir. Van Hulle: When you have a video trailer, or you wish to evaluate or compare several video trailers, Mindspeller can provide EEG software to assess viewer interest scene by scene. This can even be used to compare your videos to your competitors.

Mindspeller: Can this research be applied for commercial use in neuromarketing without having the lab at your disposal?

Prof. Dr. Ir. Van Hulle: EEG equipment is necessary to monitor the viewer's brain activity evoked by a video trailer. However, we consider these live EEG recordings an extension to Mindspeller’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite. The latter has already been extensively validated with live EEG recordings.

Mindspeller: What is the possible cost structure of an EEG project?

Prof. Dr. Ir. Van Hulle: Generally, pricing depends on a variety of factors. A major factor is whether it is a broad or an individual client study. For accurate results, we need to oversee about 10 to 15 subjects watching 10 videos per genre. Apart from recruiting a targeted audience and obtaining EEG recordings, we must also take into consideration the paradigm/stimulus composition and data analysis. Our Mindspeller account executives are experienced in designing cost-effective EEG studies that take into account these factors.

Mindspeller: How easy is it to set up this kind of session and how long does it take to get results?

Prof. Dr. Ir. Van Hulle: A project can be realized in 1 to 2 weeks. Ideally, up to 5 subjects can be recorded per day as the equipment needs to be cleaned, etc.

Learn more

Interested in the neuroscience behind reading customers’ thoughts? Take a look at the Professor’s Van Hulle research article to learn more on how to predict video skipping and viewer interest: https://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/21/10/1014

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