TiVo and Quantcast Pair-up May Illuminate TV-Web Ad Connection

A new partnership between TiVo and Web-ad measurement company Quantcast has a goal of bringing cross-channel advertisers closer than ever to the “Holy Grail”: A data-based picture of how TV ads drive online activity.

The TV/Web audience analysis product, to be offered later this summer, will combine information gleaned from TiVo’s “Power Watch” ratings panel and Quantcast’s tag-based measurement of Web site action. If it performs as billed, the effort will provide metrics for determining the effectiveness of TV ad calls-to-action that urge viewers to visit advertisers’ Web sites, said Quantcast CEO Konrad Feldman.

One metric, for instance, will measure the “subsequent” online behavior of households exposed to TV ads. This will determine “how much more likely [they are] to visit your site and other quantifiable metrics on that downstream behavior and the extent TV drives it,” Feldman said. “That’s sort of the Holy Grail of advertisers who spend a lot of money on TV advertising.”

He declined to name prospective clients for the new product but said Quantcast and TiVo “are already in detailed conversations with numerous leading ad agencies and advertisers.”

Feldman and TiVo Audience Research and Management VP and GM Todd Juenger believe the information the partnership will provide will help advertisers as they plan their media strategies and ad purchases. “It’s always about making decisions about the right combinations — specifically about ad effectiveness,” Feldman said. “This will help in all aspects of the media planning and buying cycle.”

“The vast majority of advertisers that spend online also spend on television and, in many cases, they are spending substantially more on television,” he said. “We see a lot of calls-to-action in terms of getting consumers to engage online,” he continued, noting the joint product will help show the online effects of television advertising — “not just visits to the sites, but also search activity.”

“Broadly summarized, one of the metrics this will offer is overlap,” said Feldman. “What’s the overlap in ad exposure or media consumption? How much larger is my combined audience than the audience I have with just TV or online alone?”

The initiative is certainly not the first to attempt at cross-channel measurement. For instance, Dynamic Logic has long conducted studies to determine cross-media ad effectiveness. However, the partners believe the size of the TiVo volunteer households involved in the Power Watch panel — 35,000 — will help them succeed.

The identities of people whose TV viewing and Web surfing information will be gathered by the two companies, will remain anonymous. According to Juenger, the system will track the use of one PC in each Power Watch panel household to determine when, and for how long, a Quantcast-tagged Web site is visited. This will be correlated with the TV viewing logs for the household kept by TiVo.

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