Google Ties With TiVo For Better Ratings Data

Google is aiming to soup up its automated TV advertising service following a deal to buy in new audience measurement data from TiVo, the two companies said Tuesday. Google’s service already serves ad agencies with audience measurement data from satellite provider Dish, but a deal with TiVo adds a new raft of information about all kinds of TV viewers -- including their DVR habits. TiVo’s footprint also crosses cable and free-to-air households, not just satellite subscribers, substantially enhancing the service.

While the deal takes place with immediate effect, it will be some months before the TiVo data is synthesized into Google’s ad buying service. For the first time though, agencies will be able to see second-by-second data about how their commercials are viewed plus DVR playback data. Currently, the industry currency is based on commercial ratings calculated as an average across each pod by Nielsen.

Google TV Ads is the company’s most aggressive outpost in the world of television ad buying, but has yet to go mass market. The service buys and then represents the airtime of a clutch of TV channels such as Hallmark and CNBC. Media buyers then come in and decide what to pay, how many people they want to reach and what days and time periods to place their ad spots. They can retool any aspect of their buy depending on what seems to be working thanks to the prompt audience viewing data.

In a testimonial on Google TV Ad’s Website, Chief Marketing Officer Brett Keller wrote, “We can run different forms of creative through the platform and look at drop-off rates in viewership by spot, network or program…We can identify which pieces of creative work best and use that info for our traditional media methodology.”

Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager of TiVo Audience Research & Measurement, told B&C, “They are a new client, and this gives us a couple of things; validation of the quality of our data. They [Google] looked around the world and chose us to work with and it’s the first time our data is used as currency.” The value of the deal was undisclosed.

Google TV Ads launched in 2007 and has served over 100 billion TV ad impressions, according to a press statement from the California-based company. Mike Steib, Google’s director of emerging platforms, said in a statement, “This deal with TiVo will give advertisers access to even more anonymous viewership data, making Google’s dataset one of the best in the industry.”