Though owned by TiVo, the DVR's households are only 20% of TRA's data, which also comes from other cable and satellite operators. Mark Lieberman, TRA's CEO, offered a hypothetical example of what a Simulmedia guaranteed TV buy based on the company's analytics might look like.
"The kind of behavior that advertisers are most interested in is purchase behavior, and that's what this is about," Lieberman said. "A buyer might select a certain class of beer purchaser and, using our data, TRA's dashboard can show them a particular program or a particular network that overindexes for beer shoppers by 20%. Then Simulmedia will guarantee that they will deliver the eyeballs of those heavy beer purchasers by 20%. That's the nature of the guarantee they can offer, but there's many ways it can go."
Morgan added, "What brands want to know is: Are they reaching their target and what is their share of voice vs. the competition? Those are things we'll be able to tell them."
The first phase will be a guarantee against the delivery of the segmented audience – say those shows that bring in heavy consumers of beer. At the moment, the buys are focused on the scatter market. Eventually, Morgan wants to add guarantees based on pre- and post-campaign purchases, which could make it more of a player in the TV upfronts.
The scatter market is starting to heat up now that the fall shows have all premiered and audience ratings numbers are either hitting the targets buyers and sellers agreed on during the upfront – or not.
"Clearly, we're going to be able to give marketers more certainty in their scatter-buying decisions," Morgan said. "They recognize there will be some degree of scarcity for these kinds of deals. But right now, we don't know if that will take some money out of the upfront, knowing that there's a better scatter product out there. Time will tell."