Upfront with TiVo Research

CYNOPSISMEDIA PRESENTS: Upfront with TiVo Research

Upfront With TiVo Research

Measurement is taking up more and more space at the Upfronts table, and TiVo Research has grabbed a seat. By matching one of the largest single-source TV data streams in the industry with purchase and online behavior at the household level, TiVo research enables more efficient media planning, says Tara Maitra, General Manager and Senior Vice President. Here, Maitra shares more of TiVo’s message this season.

Cynopsis: What’s TiVo Research’s place in Upfront conversation?
Tara Maitra:
For the last 50 years or so, all that really mattered about the Upfronts was what new show was debuting, who’s the star that was going to really be driving viewership. And of course content is the main feature and so important, and there’s no doubt that great content is going to attract eyeballs. But what has changed since the Internet age and mass smartphone adoption is that measurement has become much more sophisticated, and that’s been true across all platforms, really, except in TV. Until now. TiVo Research has been a driver in this conversation, and we really have focused on the need to help brands and advertisers to make better decisions on how to plan and buy media. That’s focusing on beyond just age and sex demos, but data on how to find the audiences that you want to reach. It’s much more about audience buying, and that has become a new focal point of the Upfronts, and it’s what we’re most excited about.

Cynopsis: How has TiVo evolved over the years?
TiVo was the creator of the first DVR, but even as the inventor of the DVR we had access to non-PII set-top box data. We’ve always played in the analytic space, but in 2012 TiVo bought TRA, and we got very serious about ramping up our measurement business. Today we’ve got 2.3 million total households from TiVo and six other TV providers, which makes us weighted to the U.S. population. For our clients it’s been a huge differentiator. Our audience engine we call Media TRAnalytics has the capabilities to help advertisers find and reach their most interested customers. We’re able to go a step further now, so we’re not only talking about what audience saw a particular series, but what action they took. So we can say what ad the household was exposed to, and then what was the outcome of that exposure. From the same household we understand if that household then visited a web site, they purchased something, what was the outcome of exposure to that ad.

Cynopsis: What can TiVo Research offer that other measurement companies don’t?
The best thing in the TV industry right now is the desire for better analytics and measurement. And there’s certainly a big race for analytics providers to step up their game. Everyone can tout their capabilities, or number of screens that they have, but what we have found is what’s most important is the quality of the data, not the quantity of the data. That said, TiVo Research has a larger single source data panel than anyone out there. When I say single source, what we mean is that same household that’s been exposed to an ad, we can understand the consumer behavior of that household, and it’s a direct match – we’re not modeling, we are doing a direct match. So major competitors are ramping up their panels, but they’re nowhere near our size when it comes to aggregate, anonymous data going in and out of a specific household.

Cynopsis: Your TV Attribution Study, done in partnership with A+E Networks and Turner Broadcasting, demonstrated that cutting TV ad spend significantly impacted sales. What reaction have you been getting since it came out in March?
The response has been overwhelming. We’ve gotten a lot of calls to our sales team and to our research team wanting to understand the study fully. We measured the impact of 15 CPG products where TV spending was cut, and the results were compelling. All 15 brands posted reach declines, and nearly all brands that decreased spending also saw a decrease in return. That reduced ad spend resulted in reach and frequency declines for 11 of the 15 brands, which led to the drop in sales and ROI. For every dollar decline in ad spend, the 11 brands lost three times that amount in return.

Cynopsis: What was the most surprising finding in March’s TiVo Advisors Panel, an opt-in group of about 30,000 TiVo users, about "must keep" sources of programming?
The recent survey we released surprised us a little bit. Given the choice to rank their favorite must-have networks, traditional broadcast networks were ahead of the pack. This was interesting, because for the first time we included OTT options like Netflix and Amazon and Hulu. It’s just another statement that for all the noise that broadcast TV is dying, it still ranks high on the list of must-watch networks. There’s no doubt that shows on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu continue to increase in usage and popularity, but let’s not count out broadcast TV, because it’s obvious it’s still extremely popular.

Cynopsis: Rovi, known for its on-screen guides, is set to acquire TiVo. What does the $1.1 billion deal mean for TiVo Research?
TiVo Research is business as usual. We’re excited about the close, which should be some time in Q3.

Cynopsis: What is the biggest misconception about TiVo?
Beyond a doubt, the number one misconception is that TiVo Research’s only source of TV data is TiVo. We also work with various third party data providers to produce TV attribution reports, including digital data, purchase data, location data, and pharma data. It was interesting because when we acquired TRA we had a lot of internal debate on what the name of the company should be. Should it be TiVo Research, because calling it TiVo always gives clients the view that it’s just TiVo data – but we’re so much more than that.

TiVo Research By the Numbers
2.3 Million single source TV Panel
– 5 Million set-top boxes
200 US DMAs
7 Sources of set-top-box data including TiVo
– 10 Third-party matching sources

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

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