This is the fourth installment in our series “What are Data Companies Contributing to the TV Market?” about the various data solutions for television measurement being offered by data companies in the industry. In the column that follows we will delve into the attributes of the data and its use in television.

(Be sure to read Part One, in which participants describe their companies’ services; Part Two, in which they reveal their plans to market and integrate the data into television analytics, and Part Three, in which we asked participants about their client lists -- who in the television sector is using their current services?)

My Take: The actual dataset and how it is used is at the core in ascertaining its value for television measurement. Whether there is the granularity of second by second increments, a substantial or highly targeted footprint, measurement of the individuals’ behavior rather than ascription and whether there is connectivity to other datasets, there is not one company that can offer everything. So the challenge is to find the best of each service and connect them to create a greater whole. Cooperation between networks and across agencies is paramount.

Question 4: What are your data attributes for use in television? What can your data do?

Cathy Hetzel, Rentrak Corporate President: Rentrak’s services provide the industry-accepted audience metrics for local stations, national networks and agency demographic planning tools. Our television ratings combine stable and granular viewing insights from more than 35 million U.S. televisions across every U.S. market from more than 16 million households per day. Rentrak enables clients to target audiences based on television and Video on Demand viewership trends, as well as consumer purchasing behavior and branded entertainment insights, for the most impactful ad buying and placement. Rentrak’s expansive product suite includes Advanced Demographic solutions in the automotive, political, CPG, retail and financial services verticals across linear, Video on Demand and digital platforms. Rentrak’s VOD Dynamic Ad Measurement products will be launched this fall and will compliment demographics available today for linear ad reporting for planning, buying and posting advertising for VOD, the ultimate engagement platform.

Leslie Wood, Nielsen Catalina Solutions: We have a huge potential for what our data can do. The things we have already tackled -- it can tell you which television programs to buy, if you have a target it can tell you which brands or categories. We have also done a lot of work understanding the patterns of buying -- the structure of the market -- and how do people buy, looking at price sensitivity, looking at purchase cycles and all those kinds of elements. How do people buy? And then, more importantly, how does television and advertising change what they buy? We have enormous numbers of demographics and there, too, we have Small Data and Big Data. Small Data comes from our representative samples with user defined characteristics and then we have Experian. But we also use our data to improve the characteristics. We would know everything one would know about the viewing of television and everything you know about purchasing. We know what station, what time, the duration of every episode, we know if you fast forward through a break -- anything you can get from NPM (Nielsen peoplemeters) we have access to. On the purchase side we know what aisle you used when you checked out, coupon use, was it on sale. We know this from the UPC. So the data is incredibly granular. The kinds of things we have been measuring are targeting, advertising response, long term effects of advertising, looking at different segments of buyers and non-buyers.

Joan FitzGerald Senior Vice President, Television and Cross Media Service, comScore: The building blocks of comScore television measurement are individual telecasts for content measurement and advertising impressions for ad campaign measurement.  For content, the system reports reach (unduplicated) minutes, minutes/viewer and average audience for telecasts, shows, networks and groups of networks and custom groupings.  For advertising, the system reports reach, frequency, impressions, GRPs/TRPs by placement, by creative execution, by creative type and for any custom grouping desired by the publisher or advertiser/agency. 

Mainak Mazumdar Chief Science Officer, Simulmedia: Our data is used to predict future TV viewing behavior and select inventory placements that optimize reach and business outcomes against a specific custom audience. We also have matchable data that directly ties ad exposure to a subsequent business outcome (sales, website visits, etc.). Thus, our data closes the loop on TV and proves out TV’s ROI. This kind of direct matching (no fusion or lookalike modeling, but actual 1-to-1 matching of what people saw and what they bought) is made possible by our data and what our platform does with that data. This closed-loop reporting provides “Real ROI” reporting, detailing the return on investment of campaigns based on actual dollars and cents, and not just indexes.

Bill Feininger, President, FourthWall Media: Television viewership information.  This data can be used for a variety of services listed above, as well as integration with other datasets.

Charles Buchwalter, President and CEO, Symphony Advanced Media: We capture both the fact of exposure to programs or client specific commercials/custom content/social media, etc., as well as the duration of exposure. We can tell which device was being used. We code by loyal viewing, people who switch away from commercials and the mode of viewing -- e.g. Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, broadcast, VOD, DVR playback, etc. With our survey capability we can also ask custom client questions.

Kelly Abcarian, Senior Vice President, Watch Product Architecture, Nielsen: Nielsen TV ratings has been the currency for buying and selling brand advertising on TV for decades because it is highly accurate and it provides deep insights into audiences.  In the national peoplemeter panel, we collect 100+ household characteristics, which enable not just the creation of age/gender based ratings, but also audience insights that can be used to position those audiences for advertisers.  Using our TV ratings, clients can get deep insights into what people watch, how many people watch, whether they watch with friends or family, what device they watched on, whether they watched a program live, or recorded it and watched it later, or whether they didn’t watch at all.  Nielsen also collects digital consumption data from about half of our NPM panelists, which enables analyses such as simultaneous use of digital/TV (e.g. web surfing while watching) and cause/effect (e.g., exposure to TV ad leads to online search). Nielsen has the most comprehensive Advertising Effectiveness Measurement in the industry.  We have pioneered the transition of demographic only insights to purchase behavior enhanced metrics.  Through these industry leading ventures, Nielsen delivers the broadest and deepest coverage of ROI and Media Planning across CPG, Restaurant, Retail, Travel, Pharmacy, etc., representing more than $80B in advertising spend and over $2T in product purchase.  No one else in the industry can deliver the granular insights down to the merchant and UPC level (where applicable) against single source matched, demographically accurate viewership data.  Nielsen’s NCS and NBI product suites are utilized by every major media company in the US for Upfronts, research, industry events and every day negotiations

Eric Schmitt, Executive Vice President, Communications, TV and Media, Allant: We source thousands of household data attributes for almost any TV advertising case one can come up with, be it for automotive, movie studios, retail, consumer packaged goods, travel, political or healthcare.   We also provide our own data attributes that provide our clients with unique, proprietary insights about how to best reach a given audience using premium video advertising.   On the front end, the data we provide is used to size an audience (how many households fit a given segment), to provide insights into finding a given audience in national media (network, day, daypart, program segment concentrations) and distributor media (DMAs, ad sales zone, congressional district, ZIP concentrations).  At execution time, Allant segments power addressable execution on linear and VOD platforms reaching more than 30 million homes. On the back end, Allant data is used to verify campaign ad impressions into target segments across platforms to calculate de-duplicated reach/frequency, and accurately feed ROI, attribution and media mix planning applications.

Frank Foster, Senior Vice President, General Manager, TiVo Research and Analytics (TRA): TiVo Research aggregates second by second household-level TV tuning data -- both live and time-shifted -- from multiple sources.  We analyze program and commercial viewing data at a granular level, as well as product placement and other custom ad content -- both in-program and on-screen. Digital ad exposure can also be incorporated and analyzed, and partnerships with location tracking companies enable us to analyze the impact of ad exposure on foot traffic. In addition to TV data we also aggregate 2.5+ years of grocery store purchase information from over 40 chains, 20 years of auto ownership records, 3+ years of Rx prescription history, and hundreds of HH-level demographic attributes.  CPG and Rx companies and their agencies use our data to plan/purchase and optimize media, maximize campaign reach and frequency, track creative burnout, determine sales lift and analyze in-store traffic. Broadcast and cable nets use TiVo Research to demonstrate their value to advertisers by delivering custom advertiser targets, and they also use our data to validate results via custom analytics. The networks also use our metrics to more accurately plan and analyze paid and unpaid program promos. DMPs use our TV targets to create seed segments for digital campaigns that maximize cross-media campaign effectiveness.

Charlene Weisler is a media research executive with experience that spans broadcast, cable, Charlene Weisleroff-platform, non-linear and broadband. Her expertise is in set top box data, SEO, metrics creation and behavioral psychography.

The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.