It’s common practice in television advertising to analyze viewing patterns by broad demographic slice, such as women 18-49. But for many local advertisers, these Nielsen-defined cohorts have little meaning. What auto dealers would really love, instead, is to know how many “car buyers” are watching a particular channel.
That’s one of the motivating factors behind the rising prominence of viewership data derived from cable set-top receivers that record granular, second-by-second tune-in patterns. By mashing detailed viewing data with third-party datasets that speak to buying behaviors, it’s possible to deliver advertisers a new sort of view into how their schedules are performing across the real end targets of TV campaigns – buyers.
The latest activity in the set-top data market comes from Virginia-based FourthWall Media, which announced it’s expanding the scope of its set-top data operation to give advertisers new looks into the makeup of audiences that see their TV spots. FourthWall established a new unit, MassiveData, that will offer up combinations of set-top viewing data with so-called “Big Data” overlays that produce highly detailed, analytical views of campaign exposure.
“They can look at both historical performance as well as predict future relevance of programming for any given audience segment, and optimize their strategy based on this information,” said Bill Feininger, the FourthWall SVP who has been named GM of the new unit.
In the world of set-top measurement, FourthWall serves as a sort of bridge between cable companies and advertising research firms such as Kantar Media that purchase viewing data logged from constant monitoring of digital set-tops through a component of the cable industry’s interactive TV specification known as EBIF. FourthWall has deals in place with several cable companies that give it a look across roughly 1.3 million boxes. Among providers is Charter Communications Inc., which now makes viewing data from close to 3 million households available for third-party analysis. Charter is unusual among larger cable companies in that it licenses its set-top data to a variety of end-users. Others also collect set-top data, but use it mainly for internal analysis and to supplement purchased audience research.
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