Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rentrak vs TRA vs TiVo vs Nielsen

Rentrak just announced that they have cut a deal to integrate its set-top based audience estimates into Donovan Data Systems.

This makes Rentrak the first to integrate set-top box data directly into a system that agencies use to conduct business.

This will work extremely well for measuring the small, but highly-targeted audiences that many advertisers have a hard time reaching.

TRA and TiVo are two other data aggregators who are also bringing new measurement services to the ad industry. Yet to date, none of these aggregators are talking about new ways of monetizing what is important to advertisers.

All are still selling data that tells advertisers how many saw a particular commercial, when, in fact, what advertisers should be most interested in is how long viewers watched a commercial for.

The reason is this.

As the amount of viewing options continues to increase to almost infinite numbers on the digital platform, the time people have to view things remains constant. This won’t change until there are more than 24 hours in a day.

Which means it won’t change, period.

As audience size gets smaller for each and every particular program, the length of time that a viewer is engaged with a brand becomes the one thing that has a chance to grow.

Does TiVo measure this? Yes. Rentrak? Yes. TRA? Yes.

What do they do with this data? Usually, they give it away for free when an advertiser purchases their other data.


It’s the most valuable data they have and they’re giving it away for free.

Perhaps Nielsen will get it right.

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