Online Dial Testing FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are our most FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about online dial testing.

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What type of media (video/audio) can be tested with online dials?

Dialsmith’s online dial testing supports the testing of any recorded video or audio from 30 seconds up to 60 minutes or more. The types of media that can be tested include: advertisements, TV pilots, movie/TV trailers, radio programming (song evaluation and show content), speeches, debates, animatics, detail aids, and sales presentations and pitches. Live streaming video is not currently supported but we are looking into ways we can support it in the future.

What media formats are supported?

Dialsmith supports .MP4 and .MOV file formats. Other formats will be converted to meet those specifications.

How and where is the media hosted?

Dialsmith hosts all media to be tested using a tier-one media host and content delivery network (CDN). Once the media clips are delivered to us, we handle uploading, transcoding, hosting and fielding for you. In our DIY application, Slidermetrix, you have the option to upload your media file to our media server or host it on YouTube or your own secure media server.

What is the recommended length of the media being tested?

Media length can vary from 30-seconds to 60 minutes or longer . Experience has taught us that less than 20 minutes is the ideal length, but longer clips are supported when needed. Whenever possible, we suggest cutting longer clips into multiple shorter ones to help keep respondents attentive and focused.

When are online rating results available for review and analysis?

Results for each respondent are available the moment each respondent completes the online dial testing exercise.

How can I access the data that’s been collected?

Through Dialsmith’s do-it-yourself (DIY) reporting portal, you can monitor the status and data both during and after fielding. The portal is updated with new data with every completed survey. From there, you can access the moment-to-moment video overlay, line charts of the dial ratings and crosstabs. You also have the option to export raw data in most any format you need including: .CSV, Excel, SPSS and many others. In Slidermetrix, accessing data is similar with the added benefit of viewing respondent data in virtually real-time.

How do you keep respondents engaged, specifically during longer media clips?

It’s true that the longer the test media clip, the greater the risk of fatigue and loss of focus. To help with this, we recommend providing specific instructions on what is expected of respondents during the rating exercise. During the rating, if a respondent stops moving their slider for a pre-determined period of time, we display a subtle on-screen message, reminding participants to stay focused and keep rating.

What is a “Take Action” button and how is it used?

A “Take Action” button (also sometimes referred to as a “Hot Key” button) is an optional feature that sits below the moment-to-moment rating slider. The button is designed to record a single moment in time when the respondent would take a specific action. For TV pilot testing, it could be a “tune-out” moment if they would change the channel at some point. For ads and infomercials, it could indicate a specific purchase intent or “buy” moment as the media is playing. That moment is recorded in the data file and respondents are asked to continue with their moment-to-moment rating until the end of the media clip.

What devices and browsers are supported?

Our online dial testing works with all modern browsers and is available on traditional computers (PC and laptops), touchscreen computers and tablets. Additionally, our DIY application, Slidermetrix, supports respondent testing on smartphones with some restrictions.

What security protections do you have for the media?

Because your media is being hosted by a tier-one content delivery network (CDN), it is stored in a highly secured environment. During the study, all mouse and browser functionality for accessing the media directly is disabled (e.g., right-click, Save As, etc.). For additional security when needed, Dialsmith offers watermarking on the video, which can use static text or the respondent’s individual IP address, which can be displayed in a fixed location in the video window or floating randomly.

What lead time is required to build and field a study?

For full-service online dial testing (aka Perception Analyzer Online), typically three (3) business days is generally required for media hosting, programming, editing, QA testing and having everything ready to field. Exceptions may be made when needed for faster turnaround requirements or when complex requirements require longer lead times, but additional fees may result.

Our DIY subscription service for online dial testing (aka Slidermetrix) enables you to quickly spin up and field usually within an hour or two, depending on the other requirements of your study.

How do results from online dial testing compare to those from in-person Perception Analyzer dials?

In side-by-side testing, we have found that the overall sentiment is the same for online and in-person dial testing. In-person respondents tend to dial using a wider range whereas online respondents tend to move the slider a bit less to the extremes, but the overall sentiment and shape of the moment-to-moment lines are very consistent between online and in-person.

Can I see a demo or test out Dialsmith’s online dial testing?

Yes. We’d be happy to schedule a personalized demo for you and your team and discuss your study. Please contact us to get things rolling.