TiVo Unveils Audience Measurement Service

TiVo announced on Monday a new audience measurement service that it said would give marketers deeper information on consumers’ TV viewing habits.

Advertisers will be able to gauge viewing patterns within TV programs, giving them a detailed look at how TV viewers consume both programming and advertising. TiVo units transmit the data when they dial out to retrieve programming information.

“TiVo’s unique capabilities to measure how audiences view programming and the commercial messages can help broadcasters design programming with greater value to advertisers, and help advertisers effectively target messages,” said Martin Yudkovitz, TiVo’s president. “The detailed audience analysis TiVo offers will open new avenues for improving communication with viewers.”

The effort will also yield a quarterly viewing report, developed in conjunction with media buying agency Starcom MediaVest Group. The audience-measurement service is part of TiVo’s goal of branching into business areas that draw on the power of DVRs to collect information on viewer activity on a daily basis.

Advertisers had a rocky early relationship with TiVo, which allows users to digitally store up to 80 hours of TV programming and skip commercials. However, they have warmed to the idea that TiVo could provide them with better insights into consumer behavior.

Best Buy, for example, has run three campaigns on TiVo Showcase, an advertainment area of the TiVo service. Most recently, Best Buy sponsored a 30-minute film. Earlier, the consumer electronics retailer ran campaigns pushing its James Bond DVD set and a Sheryl Crow album.

In January, 20thCentury Fox signed a deal to market five films through the TiVo Showcase.

Advertisers like Best Buy and New Line Cinemas have reported encouraging results from the TiVo campaigns, which allow them to gather a variety of information about how consumers interacted with the ads. In Best Buy’s case, it found half of TiVo subscribers viewed its Bond promotion and 63 percent watched the Sheryl Crow preview. On average, the company said viewers were spending over three minutes with the content.

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