Vizio’s Data Business Is Back – With An Updated Privacy Policy And An Expanded Partnership With ISpot.TV

Smart-TV manufacturer Vizio is back in action following February’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over its lack of a consumer opt-out for data collection.

Since then, Vizio’s data division, Inscape, has been busy courting vendor and agency clients after Vizio revised its privacy policy, said Jodie McAfee, SVP of sales and marketing for Inscape.

“We’re explaining to people that the only data we or our partners use in the marketplace is data that was formed under a true opt-in regime,” McAfee told AdExchanger, “and the feedback from ad tech companies, holding groups and networks has been very positive so far.”

That approach appears to be working. On Wednesday, the TV analytics platform iSpot.tv said it has extended its partnership with Inscape to license data from approximately 7.7 million Vizio smart TVs for seven more years. The deal significantly expands iSpot’s scale and access to Inscape’s cross-screen viewing data.

“Our level of confidence in the efficacy of our data is high and we have a strong belief that the risk profile of the data is nominal,” McAfee said.

Inscape captures live cross-device viewing behavior across Vizio smart TVs using automatic content recognition (ACR) technology from Cognitive Networks, which Vizio acquired in 2015.

Inscape then anonymizes that data and performs a blind match to partner systems using either LiveRamp or Experian.

ISpot.tv claims its integration to Inscape can improve precision and accuracy in attribution because it allows ad buyers to tie TV viewing behavior to performance KPIs, like conversions and site visits.

ISpot can provide those metrics because it has a device graph that lets it map the impressions it gets from Inscape to consumer behavior on devices.

“We collect second-by-second viewing data against actual ads, not just the programs, to avoid blind spots,” said Sean Muller, CEO of iSpot.tv. “If you just gather data at the program level, you’re not seeing viewership across OTT, VOD or at the local level.”

ISpot.tv measures how consumers engage with TV ads, digital searches and social media. Then, it correlates those results with the US Census so it aligns more closely with traditional TV currencies, which makes buyers more comfortable.

While ACR data provides precision in TV measurement, it doesn’t always scale well. The ACR ecosystem is still a patchwork of providers with numerous intermediaries cobbling data sets together.

Right now, Inscape is the only data provider that can scale – with precision – because it provides buyers direct access to a smart-TV OEM’s data sets, said Tracey Scheppach, founder of the consultancy Matter More Media and former head of Publicis/Starcom’s Video Center of Excellence.

Although Samsung has the highest smart-TV penetration, Vizio has been the most advertiser-friendly, she said.

“They’ve made a huge comeback on the privacy element and many consider them the cleanest data set out there now for ACR,” Scheppach said.

Inscape solved an early problem for TV buyers, which was access to reliable data in real time, according to Scheppach.

Mapping TV devices to digital behavioral data is still largely a pipe dream, since most cable operators or OEMs haven’t licensed their data sets directly.

But alliances between companies like iSpot.tv and Inscape could spur more movement in the market, she said.

“We’ve run hundreds of campaigns at scale with closed-loop reporting [in a single environment] and clients are excited, but what’s really hard to do still is cross-platform,” Scheppach said. “Matching the data of your impressions on TV to digital anything is still very difficult.”

 

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