A.C. Nielsen Killer App

For the longest time, TIVO has been bleeding red ink as it struggles to maintain its lead as the only branded DVR on the market. Its current share of the DVR market hovers in the 31% range, with approximately 4.4 million subscribers. The fate of the company has been in question for some time as cable operators distribute their own units that do just about everything TIVO can do.

TIVO’s advantage is not in the hardware. It’s in the software and the reporting capabilities they have quietly mastered and just released under a new research division. TIVO can provide, for its subscriber universe, second by second ratings for both programming and commercials. This can eventually turn into a huge goldmine for TIVO as it fills a long-standing demand by marketers to substantiate the difference between commercial and program ratings …. a huge and costly problem for A.C. Nielsen, with no practical solution given their approach to data collection.

TIVO can quickly pull together consumer panels that replicate the US population and provide better ratings projections. A blend of current subscribers and those that are typically under-sampled by Nielsen can be had by giving away subscriptions to consumers that will correct TIVOs sample base. After all, who would turn down a free TIVO subscription?

This is not brain surgery. The ability to draw several panels from an existing base of 4.4 million has the potential to unseat A.C. Nielsen overnight.

1 comment:

Rich Miller said...

With the fragmentation of media audiences, and ability to shift time and place of viewing, we desperately need to upgrade our ability to count and report on viewing audiences. This is the most fundamental metric for media planning. It will be interesting to see how this develops.