As ad tech companies make inroads in doing that, Rovi Corp., the company that both serves as the TV Guide of smart TVs and the operator of an ad network on connected sets, is unveiling a data product that's designed for cross platform deals, starting from the set-top box and continuing to the web.
In an interview about Rovi Analytics, Jeff Siegel, Rovi's SVP, Worldwide Advertising, told AdExchanger, "Historically, we measured electronics companies' data and analytics from the TV services footprints individually. Now, we have a significant sample size that looks across service providers, measure uniques, impressions, and time spent for advanced TV buys."
Rovi Analytics will have access to data from over 300,000 set-top boxes. While set-top box data provider Rentrak's TV Essentials product has a measurement footprint of more than 8.5 million homes with more than 20 million television set top boxes, claiming to represent over 98 percent of all residential zip codes and 90 percent of commercially available set-top boxes, Rovi's ad network also extends farther out to the web. That connection is the main selling point here. In other words, Rovi isn't just interested in set-top box data alone; it's looking to cover all digital platforms.
For example, as Rovi rolls out the analytics product, it plans to add more functions around "brand lift" as it seeks to better connect the set-top box with online.
That's a plus, since this would appear to be a challenging time for the business. Earlier this week, Adweek's Mike Shields reported that Microsoft was pulling back on its set-top box TV ad network. And a few months ago, the cable industry-backed Canoe Ventures abandoned efforts to continue powering a national network for interactive ads. Asked about these supposed setbacks for advanced TV, Siegel said he regarded it all as good news.
"It would have been nice to see Canoe succeed," Siegel said. "But they were focused on mainly using voting and polling to drive ads, not the kind of data and measurement we're employing. Plus, that system was based strictly on the [cable industry's interactive TV standard] EBIF. We're focused on a broader landscape of digital advertising. We're not based on EBIF and getting networks to participate. We don't have that problem. Advertisiers want advanced TV and the main thing driving their thinking is metrics and analytics. That's what our focus is."
By David Kaplan