Originally published: 5/10/2011

Jack Myers ThinkTank has gained exclusive access for our readers to a new White Paper being released this week by research firm TRA Global, outlining the dynamics, competitive overview and U.S. market structure of the of the TV Set Top Box Data marketplace. The paper, which is available for download to our readers in PDF format here, was developed exclusively for TRA Global clients to enable them to more fully understand the differences and strengths of several new service companies. After being obtained by Jack Myers ThinkTank, distribution of this special report to ThinkTank readers was approved by TRA Global management.

TRA's "TV Set Top Box Data: U.S. Market Structure" white paper seeks to clarify the role and applications created by the many corporate entities that have entered into the field of processing television set top box (STB) data. According to the report "there are four types of companies using STB data today in the U.S. – TV ad networks, addressable TV commercial enablers, ratings companies, and those using actual consumer purchaser data to target TV programs and networks. "TRA matches consumer purchase data with STB data to help advertisers improve the return on their media investment and has recently been followed by the Nielsen Catalina Solution joint venture and Kantar's RaPiDview product announcement. Kantar and Nielsen measure packaged goods purchase whereas TRA measures the purchase of packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, and automotive.

The White Paper identifies two companies, Rentrak and Kantar, that are "trying to provide a better ratings mousetrap than Nielsen's TV ratings service." Two addressable TV commercial providers using STB data identified and described in the report are Invidi and Visible World. "Visible World is ahead in deployment but in the New York market only, and Invidi is slated in the next 12 months to have the largest national footprint of satellite DVR homes," advises the report.

The TV ad networks using STB data and discussed in the TRA Report are Google, Simulmedia, and Admira. "Admira is in a smattering of markets while the other two appear to have national footprints. All three are so far limited to "remnant" type inventory rather than "premium" type inventory," says the report.

TRA points out that "the general press (and even the trade press) has frequently lumped together vastly different services into a single bucket just because all of those services use set top box data in some way. This is like lumping together Vaseline, Mercedes, and electricity generators in a single category because all three use petroleum. We thought that it would be useful to help TRA clients form a more sophisticated picture of the actual market structure of the important new services that have come into being to, in one way or another, improve the value different types of advertisers receive from television." TRA focused their assessment on eleven market players:

· Black Arrow
· Google TV
· Invidi
· Kantar/DirectView and Kantar/Charter (Kantar)
· Kantar RapidView
· Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS)
· Rentrak TV Essentials and StationView Essentials (Rentrak)
· Simulmedia
· TiVo
· TRA
· Visible World

"The simple conclusion typically drawn from the services offered by these eleven companies is that the access of set top box data and its analytic byproducts is the fuel being utilized to fill obvious gaps in historical business practices. And therefore the respective service offerings all behave similarly in delivering the measurement, accountability, and insights required by the marketplace today."

Download a copy of the TRA Global White Paper here or you can cut and paste this link into your browser. http://www.jackmyers.com/commentary/jackmyers-think-tank/TRA-Global-Issues-Special-Report-on-Set-Top-Data-Providers---PDF-Report-for-Download.html 

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