NEWS9 December 2009

TiVo chief Rogers talks up television measurement offer

News North America Technology

US— TiVo’s CEO Tom Rogers has played up his firm’s ad measurement capabilities, saying TiVo is now more a “television behaviour company” than a digital video recorder company.

“To think of TiVo as a DVR [digital video recorder] company is really past history in some respects,” Rogers told the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. “We’re a television behaviour company at our heart.”

He said that the rise of the internet and digital video recorders meant broadcasters’ business models – and measurement techniques – had to change.

“Commercials are being increasingly avoided,” said Rogers. “It’s to a point now that commercial delivery is totally a function of who will actually sit through an ad as opposed to how many people the ad hypothetically reaches. Measurement techniques of the traditional companies are inadequate for really getting at the kind of granular data that marketers and advertisers who get click-by-click information on the internet have come to expect.”

He said it was “almost beyond comprehension” that many local markets are still using diary-based systems to measure TV viewing.

TiVo provides various measurement services based on data from its subscribers’ DVR boxes, combining viewing data with demographic information, as well as with data on purchase behaviour and internet usage, through tie-ups with TRA and Quantcast.

Rogers warned of an impending “train wreck” for broadcasters if they didn’t change their approach to advertising. But he described the problem as “eminently solvable”.

“You have to create alternatives that make sense,” he said. “This is the time to do it.”