TiVo, which made DVRs mainstream and caused untold ulcers within the ad world thanks to the handy feature of being able to skip ads, announced a new deal today with TRA Inc. to bring better metrics for those interested in making TV media buys. From the press release:
Through this partnership, TRA will be drawing anonymous viewing data from TiVo's base of 1.7 million stand-alone subscribers. This will give TRA's Media TRAnalytics service, the only research service with the ability to correlate household purchasing behavior with media exposure, access to an unprecedented national sample size in order to effectively evaluate ROI of media spend. This agreement will accelerate TRA's stated goal of having one million households nationwide of anonymous singlesource data (TV viewership associated with household purchase data).In doing so, TRA is essentially attempting to provide the finer-grained TV metrics that (some) advertisers have been agitating for in the past years. Television still is by far the favored medium for advertisers to engage consumers -- a report by Yankelovich found 56 percent of respondents had a positive impression of an ad seen on television, compared to just 31 percent who saw an ad online.
The problem has been that TV ad spend is incredibly hard to track. The jury's out whether this new partnership will work or not, but that these initiatives are coming down the pike as of late shows how much this sort of innovation is needed.