Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement Prioritizes Near Term and Long Term Uses for Set-Top Box Data

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New York, October 27, 2010 – On the heels of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement’s (CIMM’s) Lexicon for Set-Top Box (STB) Data, the group unveiled today the results of an industry wide research project meant to prioritize the near term and long term uses for STB data. The CIMM “Roadmap for Set-Top Box Data” delineates the challenges and opportunities in using STB data across a wide range of applications.

“While working on our Lexicon of STB terms, it became obvious that there was no clear picture of the Set-Top Box landscape,” explained Jane Clarke, Managing Director, CIMM. “We knew that if we could get the industry to talk with us confidentially, we could put together a comprehensive overview. This Roadmap clearly illustrates the ways in which the industry can utilize this data immediately as well as shape it for broader use in the future.”

The CIMM “Roadmap for Set-Top Box Data” prioritizes four major areas of use:

1. Local Measurement –The use of STB data for measuring TV viewing in local markets has the ability to provide larger sample sizes with greater granularity than the current measurement, even though improvements are still needed to make the samples more representative. Local broadcasters are interested in this new measurement opportunity, and several research vendors are developing this capability. CIMM believes the industry will see a lot of developments in this area over the next year.

2. Granular Analytics Tool – STB data can be used for in-depth understanding of viewing patterns for programs and for advertising pods. These kinds of analyses don’t require representative samples to gain considerable insights, so they will also gain traction in the next year. Multi-channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD’s) will also increasingly use STB data within their companies for marketing purposes and channel carriage negotiations.

3. National Measurement Currency – While there is some need to improve the current national measurement, STB data needs much further development to be ready to either replace and/or be combined into a new or hybrid national currency measurement. CIMM supports the foundational data standards currently in development with the MVPD’s and the Media Rating Council (MRC), and also encourages greater availability of STB data to create a nationally representative sample. Judging from industry feedback received by CIMM, it will take at least two-three years for STB data to develop to the extent that it could be audited as a national media currency.

4. Database Matching to Provide ROI Analytics and Advanced Advertising – Appending custom and large industry databases to STB data for segmentation purposes do not require representative samples and will enable advertisers to transform television into a direct marketing tool with revenue producing capabilities. As our next project, CIMM seeks to work with the database companies to provide greater transparency and to help the industry understand how best to combine these secondary databases with STB viewing data.

“SMG is aggressively looking for CIMM to help drive the evolution and quality of STB datasets that can be used with high confidence in the segmentation and advanced advertising businesses that we believe will be game changing for the TV industry” said Kate Sirkin, Executive Vice President, Global Research, Starcom MediaVest Group. “We hope others join us at SMG and CIMM to further develop these capabilities.”

The Roadmap is based on confidential interviews with 85 policy and decision makers in 58 separate companies. Those interviewed included buyers, planners, strategists and researchers within agencies and researchers, new business developers and technology experts within data originators, data processors and software vendors.

About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) was founded by several leading television content providers, media agencies and advertisers to promote innovation in audience measurement for television and cross-platform video. CIMM will explore and identify new methodologies and approaches to audience measurement through a series of pilot studies with independent measurement companies focusing on two key areas: the current and future potential of television measurement through set-top- box data, and new methods for cross-platform media measurement. Current participants are: AT&T, Belo, CBS Corporation, Carat USA, Comcast Networks, ConAgra, Discovery Communications, Gannett, GroupM, Hearst, Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands, Microsoft, NBC Universal, News Corporation, Omnicom Media Group, P&G, PepsiCo, Publicis Groupe, Time Warner, Unilever, Viacom and The Walt Disney Company.

Contacts

FOR CIMM:

Laura Nelson – The Gilbride Group – 646.712.1614 – laura.nelson@mac.com

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