Giving viewers the ability to fast forward through commercials has always been a big draw to TiVo. But advertisers hate it, as they pay lots of money to keep the pitchmen in your face. So what can advertisers do to find out if their message is being seen or not?
In an announcement made today, TiVo says it is partnering with Google to try and find a solution. The two companies will use data collected from millions of digital video recorders across the United States and track which commercials are being viewed and which aren’t.
The “audience research agreement” between Google and TiVo allow Google to measure performance of ads sold through Google TV Ads platform that run on TiVo.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Google will track data anonymously and collect second-by-second data from TiVo subscribers. The goal is to measure and enhance accountability of advertising impressions. According to a company release, the TiVo sample covers all television signal sources including digital cable, analog cable, satellite, telecom and over-the-air television, in live and timeshifted viewing.
“Google TV Ads is focused on enabling advertisers to target and measure television advertising more effectively,” Mike Steib, Google’s Director of Emerging Platforms, said in a news release. “This deal with TiVo will give advertisers access to even more anonymized viewership data, making Google’s dataset one of the best in the industry. Advertisers can use this data to understand which audiences and ads are most effective, which we think will ultimately lead to more relevant ads for viewers.”
Google TV Ads allows advertisers to track performance of advertising in the 96 million homes it reaches. Since its launch in 2007, Google TV Ads has served more than 100 billion TV ad impressions.
Furthermore, 30 percent of companies who buy ads through Google TV Ads have never advertised on television. Google says its system lowers barriers to entry for advertisers and provides them with better metrics, so it’s no surprise TV ad virgins are signing up.
“Working with Google is an important milestone for our audience research business and represents a shared approach to developing innovative products and services to help the media industry better understand the effectiveness of ad campaigns in an evolving TV landscape,” Todd Juenger, Vice President & General Manager, TiVo Audience Research & Measurement, said in a news release. “Among the many innovative aspects of Google TV Ads, a critical role is in its ability to measure specific commercial ratings not simply averages, which is a key attribute of the TiVo data. By using TiVo’s massive samples and second-by-second granularity in its currency measurement, Google TV Ads can now provide an order of magnitude of improved accountability for advertisers.”
The Google-TiVo experiment presents a formidable challenge to Nielsen Co., the organization currently responsible for tracking TV ratings. Nielsen currently measures and estimates how many people watch a TV program and advertisers base their rates on those numbers. The new Google-TiVo experiment, however, would give advertisers far more information on how their ads are being seen (or not seen).
According to the LA Times, Google already processes 1 billion channel clicks a day from satellite TV customers to determine if ads are being seen or not, as Google has an agreement with EchoStar to sell ads and track data for the Dish Network.