Bruce Friend, former president of market research company Ipsos OTX Media CT, has joined research solutions firm Vision Critical as President of its Media and Entertainment Division, TheWrap has learned.
He will oversee this relatively new division, working to build an office in Los Angeles and deepen the company’s ties with Hollywood. Friend (pictured left) left Ipsos, one of the major players in market research for tinsel town, in June.
Vision Critical’s focus is on technology-based research and strategy, providing programs that can be used directly by clients or by the types of market research companies that were once Friend’s competitors at Ipsos.
“Vision Critical is more on the tech side of things, which is what I was looking for,” Friend told TheWrap. “It takes me back to my early days at OTX when we were doing that story of thing."
Friend has been a leading executive in the field of market research for film, television, gaming and other media, working at MTV, HBO, Telemundo and Sony before joining OTX, which was later acquired by Ipsos.
He noted that Vision Critical, where he started on Monday, has a lot of media and entertainment clients but not a focused strategy around the area. Friend will try to provide that, and build out its work with film studios.
Market Research is an increasingly competitive area, with lots of new entrants trying to outflank traditional powers Market Cast, Ipsos and National Research Group.
As someone with experience working at various companies in the research space, Friend has noticed the increasing power of technology-based research.
“They are creating new technology rather than adopting the survey-based research approach that most people are still doing,” Friend said of Vision Critical. “That will become less and less relevant. There is all this data out there already and we can tap into it.”
“This is particularly relevant for film studios and TV networks, who need data now and not a week from now,” he added.