It's fair to say that the Labour Leadership debate that took place on the 3rd of September was pretty essential viewing. It pitted now Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn against his opponents Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall and Sky News' Adam Boulton, who posed questions to the hopefuls and managed the audience. Social media response was incredible, and the debate touched on a huge range of issues, many of which were repackaged for headlines the next day. The event was also notable for its use of a new technology, designed by Microsoft to see real time feedback on what's being said. It was called Bing Pulse and it's staying at Sky News.
During the debate, Sky News viewers were able to respond in real time to the candidates and their policy proposals, voting continuously every five seconds to share whether they agreed or disagreed with what was being said. The results were then displayed in real time, giving Sky News viewers unprecedented into the general mood of the viewing audience. Needless to say, this revealed some fascinating insights that truly did light the path to a Jeremy Corbyn victory and delight customers on the Sky phone line.
The Islington North MP dominated the viewer's response to the debate. Viewers expressed high agreement on his domestic policy (his challenge of austerity) and his position on foreign policy and the numerous failed wars the UK has taken part of. Overall, 81% of viewers thought Jeremy Corbyn had won the debate, with 6% for Cooper, 4% for Burnham and 7% for Kendall. That foreshadowed his romping victory as the leader, where he took nearly 60% of all first preference votes, giving him an extremely strong mandate as leader.
With the success of Bing Pulse, Sky have announced that they'll continue to work with Microsoft to provide audience feedback and sentiment tracking around key debates and events in the future. Indeed, this agreement will also allow Microsoft to finely tune their software to ensure that it's providing the right feedback. Complaints during the live show indicated that because of the 5 second delay and lack of colour coding it made it difficult to tell who the audience were reacting to at any given moment. Nevertheless, this deal should see Sky offering solid audience interaction and will doubtlessly provide some fascinating insights.
John McAndrew, Director of Sky News Output said: “At Sky News we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate on screen and our partnership with Microsoft's Bing Pulse helped us do exactly that. Sky News viewers were not only able to have their say on the debate, but also see the public reaction to what was being said in real time.”
Dritan Nesho, Director of Microsoft's Bing Pulse technology, said: "The Sky News live voting experience marks the entrance of Bing Pulse in the UK media market. We believe this powerful technology will revolutionize audience response and second screen engagement in Britain. During the debate everyone was able to participate and have a voice, and to gauge the reactions of their peers instantaneously."
Sky Telephone Number is operated by Search Me Ltd, a company who provide affordable alternate numbers for customers to contact their service providers. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone companies access charge. We are not affiliated with this or any company listed on this website. Callers must be over the age of 18.