Advanced Television

TiVo to make TV ratings data free for all

October 26, 2015

TiVo Research, a subsidiary of TiVo, in a spread in advertising trade publication Ad Age Magazine, has congratulated Rentrak and comScore on their new merger, wishing the new company ‘lots of luck’ in taking on Nielsen when it comes to ratings. It was also announced that to celebrate that merger, TiVo Research will be giving away basic TV ratings data for free for anyone starting in the first quarter of 2016. The forthcoming platform for open TV ratings will provide aggregated, national, programme-level ratings with basic demos from TiVo Research’s more than 2.3 million households, with the intention of re-focusing industry energy on a more relevant measurement standard.

“We will be giving this basic data away because we don’t believe anyone should have to pay for this level of insight,” said Frank Foster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of TiVo Research. “Ratings are not where the focus needs to be. The focus needs to be on how you connect advertisers with audiences they really want to reach, with data that can ensure that, and metrics that can verify it. Those that are selling ratings data don’t want the focus to be where the industry needs to be. Ratings are not the issue of the day. We want to focus on what matters much more and that’s answering the real questions of how you target viewers more efficiently, at a time when all networks are facing ratings declines.”

According to TiVo Research, the TV industry has been in a state of flux as viewers are increasingly consuming TV content on multiple platforms that are all measured differently. Advertisers are increasingly called on to justify their TV campaign spend in relation to advertising on new digital platforms. The industry standard age/sex demo ratings no longer provide that justification. TiVo Research has long advocated the need for detailed data that shows the real value of TV inventory, such as matching TV viewing habits to viewer purchases and online exposure at the household level, for a better understanding of performance and audience engagement. TiVo Research helps advertisers get accurate answers to the hard questions such as “Did my cross media advertising campaign result in higher sales?” and “What combination of online and TV advertising drove the most viewers to my new TV programme?”. TiVo Research does this with its key differentiated proposition: enormous scale of individual household-level viewing data that is directly matched down to that same individual household to the online exposures and product purchase of that household — clean, unmodelled, anonymised data to overcome the real challenges advertisers face in a way that one more source of ratings data cannot do.

“Stock prices and revenue are down across our industry, but not because TV is less valuable than it once was. In fact, with giant HD TVs, 4K, 3D, phenomenal programming and innovative advertising, TV could prosper more than ever,” said Foster. “Digital has better metrics. Money is moving to digital in part because it’s a more accountable medium, but there’s no reason TV can’t be just as accountable. The agency, advertiser and network use of data needs to evolve in a way that allows for TV advertising to evolve with the rest of the TV consumer experience. That’s our mission at TiVo Research.”

The upcoming TiVo ratings dashboard available for free will show programme-level aggregated ratings coupled with basic age and sex demographics. TiVo Research plans to provide same day and live + 7 ratings on a weekly basis.


The data will be available in Q1 2016.

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