Cox Cable Mines Set-Top Data for RE/MAX

Cable operators are slowly, but surely, reinventing TV advertising. Cox Communications has started sharing set-top data with RE/MAX International, so that the real estate broker can insert ad into shows likely watched by their target demo– women between 25 and 54 who earn at least $75,000, and are likely to buy or sell a home in the next year

Cox data showed that households watching A&E’s “Flip This House” were just as likely to watch Speed Network and repeats of CBS’s “Without A Trace” on TNT, allowing RE/MAX to spread their spend around. Waltham, Mass.-based Navic Networks automatically inserted RE/MAX’s ads into TV programs with its targeted demographic, using census data from Claritas.

This sounds simple, but for cable operators, it’s revolutionary. They’ve always had a potential treasure trove of data at their fingertips — real time information on what their customers watch — but have never exploited it. Now that they are, they’ve got a chance to carve out an additional share of the $70 billion TV advertising market. A similar bid is taking place at EchoStar’s Dish Network, where Google TV is auctioning off inventory using household data from Nielsen to target advertising.

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