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TiVo Research Details Free Ratings Data Offer

After leaking word on the plan earlier this month, TiVo Research shed more light on its plan to give away basic TV ratings data for free to anyone starting in the first quarter of 2016.

TiVo has set up a Web site for those interested in registering for the free data offer.

TiVo, which is wishing luck to Rentrak and comScore as they look to take on Nielsen as a combined entity, noted that its platform will provide aggregated, national ratings with basic demos from TiVo Research’s reach of more than 2.3 million households. TiVo said its free ratings dashboard will show program-level aggregated ratings coupled with basic age and sex demographics on an anonymous basis. It also plans to provide same day and live + 7 ratings on a weekly basis.

TiVo said it’s making the free offer as the TV industry remains in a “state of flux” as eyeballs shift to multiple platforms that are all measured differently that traditional TV.

Multiscreen measurement and new forms of viewership currency was a hot topic at last week’s Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable  NYC Television Week event.

The measurement challenges emanating from the popularity of OTT realm are “significant,” Jane Clarke, CEO and managing director for the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), said at a panel at last week’s Next TV Summit. “OTT is, in particular, the latest big disruptor to come along, and is obviously of major interest to some members as [both] a disruptor and an opportunity,” she said.

That echoed comments from Linda Yaccarino, chairman, ad sales and client partnerships at NBCU, who keynoted last Tuesday’s Advanced Advertising Summit, and said there’s a need to create a uniform currency.

“We’ve got to capture viewing on the screen in the living room, on the screen in your lap, or the screen in your phone,” Yaccarino said. “It’s a situation that must be fixed. It’s an acute situation , and we’re doing everything we can.”

TiVo’s free offer also comes amid a report that Comcast is looking to license set-top data to other programmers and measurement companies.

"We will be giving this basic data away because we don't believe anyone should have to pay for this level of insight," said Frank Foster, SVP and GM of TiVo Research, in a statement. “Ratings are not where the focus needs to be. The focus needs to be on how you connect advertisers with audiences they really want to reach, with data that can ensure that, and metrics that can verify it.”

Ratings, he added “are not the issue of the day. We want to focus on what matters much more and that's answering the real questions of how you target viewers more efficiently, at a time when all networks are facing ratings declines."