TiVo and IRI Take Research Pact Nationwide

There’s been a lot of fretting over the potential effect of digital video recorder (DVR) technology on advertiser brands. Now the company synonymous with DVRs, TiVo, is augmenting its research offerings, allowing advertisers to track the DVR effect on a national scale through an expanded relationship with research partner Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). The new research product is aimed mainly at consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers, a main market served by IRI.

The nationwide IRI TiVo Consumer Pulse research product rounds out the smaller scale test market research the two firms have provided to CPG advertisers since they originally paired up two years ago. The firms match IRI’s purchase and consumption data with Tivo’s household viewing pattern research to extend the DVR firm’s tracking capabilities to real-world checkout counters.

A handful of CPG advertisers have had access to the regional research, known as BehaviorScan, since the companies began working together, according to Todd Juenger, VP and GM, TiVo Audience Research and Measurement, who said those clients refuse to be named. Now, the combined regional market research, as well as the new national offering, will be made available to any interested clients under the IRI TiVo Consumer Insights Suite name.

The goal is to take the previous research model beyond the vacuum of small test markets, better geared for ad experimentation, to the mass market. The national panel includes about 1,000 households that have opted in to participate in IRI’s and TiVo’s research studies. The regional BehaviorScan market research typically involves three or four select test markets, each encompassing around 500 households.

The nationwide research will enable advertisers to “track broadly how their ad campaign is doing and how their purchasing is doing across the whole country,” explained Juenger. It will also “help them see the longer term effects of DVRs on brands.”

Both TiVo and IRI are selling the combined research. “It’s custom in nature as opposed to a syndicated or subscription model of research,” Juenger noted. Price will vary based on the number of brands and regions being monitored, and the total amount of research clients want. TiVo will continue to offer separately its general audience viewing research product, which is not affiliated with IRI, said Juenger.

Interpublic Media, Omnicom Media Group and WPP’s GroupM have all agreed this year to purchase advertising on Tivo. According to Juenger, there are no new clients using the national research product yet.

Will Tivo’s expanded research offerings quell advertisers’ concerns about DVR ad skipping?
“I don’t think we’re the bogeyman anymore,” stressed Juenger, who admitted when research clients first dig into the data, “in many cases it just heightens their fear….It’s the first time they’ve really seen hard numbers that show how much ad skipping is going on.”

Testing ad messages and viewing data along with in-store purchases, he concluded, “is the first step to understanding, so then they can deal with it.”

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