Measurement and analytics company iSpot, one of the top challengers to Nielsen, said it signed a licensing deal with LG Ads Solutions that gives iSpot access to program and ad data from more than 20 million smart TVs.
iSpot previously got most of its viewing data from Vizio’s Inscape unit. It now has an opted-in panel of39 million connected TVs from seven different manufacturers, which it said is the largest footprint of licensed smart TV data in the measurement business.
“It’s not the only thing, but scale matters. Speed matters. Accuracy matters. Cross-screen matters. Actionability matters,” iSpot CEO Sean Muller told Broadcasting+Cable.
Muller noted that iSpot is the only with LG and Vizio data for the purposes of measurement in the market and it will have that data over the long term The new LG deal will run for 4.5 years. iSpot’s Vizio deal goes through the end of 2025.
“We continue to invest heavily for the benefit of our customers,” Muller said. “We’re investing for the long term. This is here to stay.”
iSpot likes getting viewing data from smart TVs, which gather data about all type of viewing, including set-top boxes and satellite, streaming devices, embedded apps and over the air.
“The number of set-top-box homes is declining. So if you’re just using set-top boxes for measurement, you’re missing a lot,” he said.
At a time when Nielsen is under fire for under-reporting viewing during the pandemic and losing its accreditation from the Media Rating Council--the industry’s seal of approval-- Nielsen’s clients are looking for alternatives. iSpot is one of the leading companies offering alternative to Nielsen, including becoming currency for buying and selling advertising.
Muller said that in its 10 years in business, iSpot has built up trust among buyers and sellers as a platform for measuring and verifying the viewing of commercials and determining the impact those ads are having in terms of producing viewer activity and generating sales.
Many of the companies in the ad tech and data space have been going public or merging lately. What are iSpot’s plans? “What I can tell you is we’re growing very fast and we’re very much nearing IPO scale,” Muller said.
For LG Ads Solutions, the agreement is part of a strategy to provide its massive and highly valuable TV data set to select industry partners to improve the overall TV media and measurement ecosystem, while maintaining exclusivity for native ad activation across LG smart TVs.
“This is a critical time for the development and adoption of new currencies in TV. The team here at LG Ads Solutions believes we have an obligation to help support better, more accurate measurement of activity for all forms of TV,” said LG Ads CEO, Raghu Kodige. “That’s why we are pleased to put our opt-in data in the hands of a measurement pioneer like iSpot that has established deep trust and daily usage with brands and networks. Together we can ensure TV and streaming get the credit they deserve for driving awareness and business outcomes.” ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.