We think this list of FAQs should cover just about everything but if you do have a burning question just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns and manages The Viewers?
The Viewers is a TV research panel owned and managed by Inquisi Research Ltd, an independent research agency set up by a former research manager of a major UK broadcaster to offer a specialised TV research service to both broadcasters and programme makers. Not affiliated to any broadcaster, clients get a specialist yet objective service and as a panelist we guarantee not to bore you with a 45 minute survey on mortgages or printer cartridges. Inquisi Research Ltd follows the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct and is registered with the ICO as a registered data controller (ZA061466) complying with the data protection act.
Can anyone join?
Registration is open to any UK resident over the age of 16. Those who work in the media industry or are close to somebody who does may be invited to take part in industry research but will be excluded from the majority of viewer research.
Do I need to be a TV addict?
No, we want to speak to all manner of viewers from ardent fans of a programme to those who just catch the odd bit of TV. Please just be completely honest when registering and you will be contacted when a project is right for you.
Does it cost anything to register?
Absolutely not and we recommend you steer clear of any research agency or panel that asks you for payment in order to take part in research as it is strictly against the Market Research Society's code of conduct.
Am I committing myself to taking part in research by registering?
No, when you register you choose what type of research you would like to hear about and when you receive emails according to your preferences you are still free to reject or ignore everything you’re offered and we won’t be offended! We would much rather you do this than agree to something you may not be able to complete before the given deadline. We will keep sending you invitations until either you find something you want to take part in or you decide you would like to leave the panel by emailing email@example.com from the email address that you registered with.
What type of projects can I get involved in?
Broadcasters or programme makers may need your opinion on all manner of topics whether it be seeing what you thought of a programme you watched last night or getting your thoughts on a new programme that is still in development. You could be involved in generating or developing programme ideas, titles, marketing, having your say on major channel changes or even helping launch a new TV channel. The list is endless!
I’m not sure whether group discussions are for me?
We appreciate some respondents may find expressing their opinions in a room full of strangers intimidating, but we’re sure the actual experience will be far less daunting than expected. The session will be led by a skilled moderator who is trained in managing conversations to help everyone get their say and make the session as relaxed as possible. The fact that we research TV interests a lot of people who haven't particularly wanted to do focus groups before. With approximately two thirds of our panel new to focus groups, you certainly won't feel like the newbie in the room. You’ll be there to talk about TV, whilst your personal life may be touched upon briefly in terms of who you watch TV with, there shouldn’t be anything too prying or personal and you will always have the option not to answer a question. If you're still not keen, you can choose to only hear from us about online tasks and surveys either when you register or by updating your preferences at any point.
How much could I earn?
Each project is different but you can expect to get at least £40 cash plus free refreshments for a 90 minute to 2 hour group discussion and often more if the project involves tasks to complete before or afterwards. You will be told in advance when payment will be made but it will most likely be in cash at the group itself. Online focus groups carry a similar incentive paid directly into your bank or paypal account. Our online surveys typically pay £1-£10 depending on length and usually offer a choice of whether you'd like to receive the payment via bank transfer, PayPal or amazon e-voucher along with entry to a prize draw. We currently pay out weekly so there is no need to complete several surveys before receiving anything. You will always be told the incentive, payment method and date of payment before you decide to take part.
How often can I take part in research?
To give more chances for everyone to take part and avoid you becoming what is known as a serial respondent, you will only be able to take part in one group discussion every 6 months unless the project you are selected for has more than one stage. However you can continue to take part in our online surveys as regularly as you like!
How do you decide who takes part in specific projects?
Clients come to us wanting to speak to a certain type of person and we are 100% committed to honouring this no matter how keen individual respondents may be to take part in projects. We search our database and if you look a likely match to the criteria, we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire to see if you are in fact who we are looking for. We appreciate some of the answers you gave when registering may have changed so you may be asked to reconfirm answers you have previously given but we’ll try to keep this to a minimum. For the same reason, we may contact you when you don’t currently meet all the criteria if we think there’s a chance your situation has changed. We can never tell you exactly what we are looking for on particular projects so just be honest and if you’re a match hopefully you’ll get an invite.
Will I be guaranteed a place on the project if I am exactly who you are looking for?
Unfortunately not, clients ask for a specific number of viewers to take part in projects and therefore not everyone who qualifies will be invited to participate. To increase your chances of being selected please reply to any messages from us as soon as possible as we have to continue filling places rather than waiting for replies. Sometimes you may be offered a reserve place incase somebody drops out but we won’t penalize you if you get a better offer in the meantime as we only seek 100% commitment from confirmed respondents. We will also do our best to get reserves places in future research.
What will the project involve?
We offer both individual online surveys and tasks and group discussions but projects vary depending on client requirements. Focus groups are generally lighthearted discussions between 6-8 viewers led by a trained researcher in a local venue or online and typically last 1.5-2 hours. For our online surveys we offer standard surveys which take around 5-20 minutes and can be completed at any time on on any device and also programme reviews which take about an hour but require access to a computer or laptop to be able to both watch and interact with the programme at the same time. You will always be given a breakdown of what will be required and any technology requirements before you decide to take part in a piece of research and if you don't fancy one project you will still get opportunities to take part in other types of research. There will also be a range of quick online surveys and polls conducted throughout the year with chances to win prizes but you can choose to opt out of these if preferred.
Will a project take place anywhere near me?
Unlike many agencies that concentrate on doing research in the same few cities, we are big fans of venturing to places that are often overlooked. We have therefore been enlisting the help of local press in all manner of cities across the UK from Glasgow to Exeter to generate enough interest to allow us to run projects there. Once signed up, you can also increase the chances of a project taking place near you by getting everyone you know to sign up too. If you live in the middle of nowhere unfortunately it is unlikely a group discussion will take place near you but we do have online tasks you can take part in or there may be the possibility of one to one interviews. Of course some clients will still insist on research taking place in London and Birmingham so that they can be involved in the sessions too so it is still worth registering if you live in a popular research location.
Where will group discussions take place?
Group discussions would likely take place in one of the following places:
Purpose built viewing facilities - Rooms are set up with recording equipment and contain one-way mirrors so clients can view the discussion. As a respondent it should feel like an informal discussion in a living room rather than being under the spotlight.
Hotels - Hotels are chosen for group discussions due to their convenient location and having meeting rooms suitable for group discussions, you won’t be sat on a bed!
Client’s Office - Occasionally you may be invited to a broadcaster’s office for a piece of research - keep your eye out for celebrities in the lift!
Online - You may be able to take part in some discussions from the comfort of your own home
Will I be recorded at the session and what happens with the recording?
Quite likely as it’s impossible for the interviewer to remember all the opinions that are given in a group so recording the session is invaluable for being able to write up the report for the client afterwards. Clients who weren’t able to attend may also want to watch the groups for themselves. Any recordings will be strictly for internal use by the moderator and client only and will never be shown on TV, online or anywhere a member of the public could see you.
Will you cover my travel expenses or any other costs I incur taking part in the research?
Unless otherwise specified, afraid not. It is up to you to weigh up the incentive offered versus any costs you may incur and decide whether you want to take part in the project offered to you. We do research nationwide so encourage you to only apply for research in your local area. Many respondents really enjoy participating in TV research and helping shape what hits their screens rather than solely doing it for the money but in the vast majority of cases you will pocket a nice reward, often with free refreshments too!
Do I need to bring anything to the research?
To provide our clients with reassurance that respondents are who they say they are, you may be asked to bring official photographic ID such as a passport or driving licence clearly showing your full name and date of birth. Failure to do so may result in you being turned away without payment. Any other requirements will be detailed to you at the time you’re offered the research.
Can I bring my partner/child/friend with me?
Unfortunately not, unless a project specifically requests you bring somebody else, only the invited respondents can enter the room in which the research takes place. Occasionally there may be somewhere they can wait at the venue but please check with ourselves or the venue first as this is not always possible.
I agreed to take part in a project but am no longer able to attend, have I blown my chances of future research?
We completely understand people's circumstances change so you won't be penalised for pulling out and will still be offered future projects provided you give us as much notice as possible to allow us to offer your place to a reserve. However if you don't attend research and fail to tell us before it begins via email or the contact number you will be given, you will not be invited to participate in future projects.
I can no longer attend, can someone I know take my place?
No, there are numerous factors which contributed to you being offered the research and you can not transfer your place under any circumstances. Please let us know if you can no longer take part in research and if you know anyone who would also like to take part they should register themselves. If they enter your panel number as their referrer you will receive our referral reward after they take part in their first group discussion.
Why do I have to answer so many questions in order to register?
We hope the registration process will only take you ten minutes and haven't asked any questions just for the sake of it but for each research project our clients want to talk to a specific type of viewer. Sometimes this may be viewers who regularly watch a certain channel, programme or type of show and other times they may want to speak to viewers who don't like something so please just be honest rather than second guessing what we may or may not be looking for. The more we ask you at registration, the less we will need to bother you in the future about research projects you ultimately won't be suitable for. Being able to tell our clients we have access to the viewers they want to talk to also results in more exciting research opportunities becoming available to you.
What happens to the information I provide?
Once your information has been input into our survey, it is encrypted and held on a secure website before being transferred to a secure password protected database owned by and for the sole use of Inquisi Research Ltd. The company follows the Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct and is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) as a data controller complying with the data protection act and GDPR. Our registration reference number is ZA061466 and can be viewed on the ICO website. Details you give will be used for the sole purpose of identifying whether you are suitable for research projects and contacting you if anything suitable comes up for which you will be under no pressure to take part.
Your details will never be passed on to others for direct marketing of any kind or used to sell you anything ever. You will not receive any spam or junk mail as a result of registering with The Viewers, just research opportunities. We may however collect, use, share and store your information to check your details and to verify your identity in order to prevent fraud with other interested 3rd parties/data holders.
Clients and/or research venues will not receive all the personal details we hold for you but contact telephone numbers may be given for the sole purpose of using on the day if you are late or to inform you of any last minute project cancellations or changes outside of our office hours. Your phone number is provided under the condition it can’t be used for anything other than contacting you on the day. Clients also are forbidden from contacting you directly for follow up research unless you have explicitly given your consent for this at the beginning of the project.
You can choose to leave the panel and have all your personal details removed from our database immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address you registered with.
Can I register with false details to protect my true identity?
Absolutely not. It is crucial clients are hearing from who they have asked to speak to and deliberately providing false details when registering constitutes fraud. You will always be asked to confirm key details before being invited to take part in research then at the beginning of a research project you may be asked for photographic ID to confirm your name and date of birth. If it doesn't match the details originally provided you may be asked to leave the group without receiving payment and are likely to be removed from the panel.
Why do I have to wait for confirmation of my membership of the panel?
Clients invest a lot of time and money in research projects and unfortunately are let down by a minority of respondents who want to speed through an online survey ticking any box or feel they can turn up to take the money without contributing to the discussion. Unlike many online panels we use humans to verify that every member of our panel is a quality respondent it is worth them paying to hear from. We're not looking for a room of big mouths or essay writing intellectual geniuses but we just need to be sure respondents can follow instructions, have opinions and are able to articulate them. Ten minutes of effort now will hopefully open the door to interesting opportunities in the future.
I received confirmation of my membership but haven't heard anything since
Every project comes with a specific brief of who a TV channel/programme maker wants to take part and to avoid wasting everybody's time, we will only contact you when we think you are a match. This means that overall you may hear from us less than other research companies but when we do contact you there is a better chance you will ultimately be able to take part. Rest assured that if you've registered with us we will contact you as soon as we have something you may be suitable for but unfortunately we are unable to predict when this will be or guarantee that all members will be suitable for a project. It is worth checking however that your spam/junk email filters aren’t incorrectly classifying our emails as junk. To ensure you receive email from The Viewers please add email@example.com to your address book or contacts list or enter www.theviewers.co.uk as a safe domain in your email safe or white list.
I can't find where to log in to the website
Unlike some research panels we don't currently have an option to log in to our website. Our registration process allows us to contact those who a project is most likely to be suitable for rather than advertising them for all members to see. You therefore need do nothing else other than wait for us to contact you.
My situation has changed since registering
We always double check key details before offering you a project but please let us know ASAP if your key contact details change. It's also useful for us to know if you start or stop a subscription to a TV provider like Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk or BT TV to increase your chances to be contacted about research you are relevant for. To make any changes please email firstname.lastname@example.org When emailing if possible tell us your panel number or your previous contact details.
I no longer want my details on your database
No problem just email email@example.com and all of your details will be deleted with immediate effect
I have a question which isn't answered here
No problem send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help
I want to speak to somebody but can't find a phone number
To keep our costs down and allow us to pass on higher rewards to members, we don't currently have a member helpline. We are often travelling the country conducting research and kindly ask that any questions are submitted to email@example.com If you are selected to take part in a group discussion, you will however be given both a landline and mobile number to contact the researcher managing your project.