It all started…
During his tenure at Murdoch University in Australia, Dr. Duane Varan founded Audience Labs (formerly the Interactive Television Research Institute) in 2001. Four years later, Dr. Varan launched the Beyond :30 Project, one of the world’s largest and longest-running consortium exploring the changing media and advertising landscape. The consortium brought together global leaders from the media, advertising and agency worlds to help answer the most pressing questions of tomorrow.
After seeing the insightful, innovative and scientifically rigorous research executed for Beyond :30, Disney Media Networks approached Dr. Varan with an intriguing proposal: they sought a dedicated custom research lab to perform the same type of research done for Beyond :30, but on a broader scale. And so in 2008, the MediaScience® Lab was born.
We operated under an exclusive partnership with Disney Media Networks, including ESPN, ABC, ABC Family and the Disney Channel over the next five years. Acting as sole facilitator for the Disney Media & Advertising Lab in Austin, TX, we executed over 200 studies, several of which have been landmark studies shared on the global stage and in peer-reviewed journals.
In late 2013, we came out of its exclusivity window with the Disney Media Network. ESPN quickly engaged our team to re-launch as the ESPN Lab. They remain a valued, exclusive sports network partner with the Austin-based lab to this day. With the new relationship, we were free to expand outside its sports exclusivity provisions.
In 2016, a new media lab launched in Chicago, reinforcing our commitment to bring the latest advances and thinking to the advertising and media communities. Twice the size of the Austin facility, our new lab is located in the heart of Chicago’s downtown “Loop” area on historic State Street. Built from the ground up, it features state-of-the-art technology and design, including over 42 NeuroQube™ stations, simulated living room environments and advanced, next generation focus group facilities.
Dr. Duane Varan leads a team of highly skilled PhDs, researchers, sales and brand strategists with expertise in neuroscience, psychology, media research, brand marketing and computer science. With our university and industry partners, we continually strive to identify the best research tools and methods for clients.
Throughout the years, we have presented at over 50 industry conferences across four continents and has been honored with numerous awards, including selection as a 2015 ARF Re:Think Winning Paper, the 2014 ARF Audience Measurement Best Paper, the Best Paper Award at the Ehrenburg-Bass/Wharton Empirical Generalizations II Conference and the 2012 CTAM Case Study Competition (first runner up). Most recently, we won the inaugural Case Study Competition at the 2015 Media Insights & Engagement Conference.