Starcom Signs Up For TiVo's TV Ratings

Media buying giant Starcom USA signed on to TiVo’s (TIVO) new Power Watch Consumer Panel, which promises to add demographic info to the picture of who’s skipping ads and when. TiVo began offering advertisers set-top data to advertisers back in April, when it launched Stop Watch, which measures viewing behaviour from a random sample of 20,000 out of 4 million total TiVo users.

Power Watch is based on a volunteer sample of 20,000 TiVo homes, meaning the data will also include  demographic information including age, marital status and ethnicity. WSJ.

This ups TiVo’s competitive ante with Nielsen, which includes 3,000 DVR homes in its 12,000-home sample. Nielsen, of course, selects its sample to be an accurate demographic reflection of the U.S., while TiVo is taking volunteers from its mostly upscale and very TV-centric customer base. So while TiVo isn’t a yet threat to Nielsen, agencies are looking for supplemental data on ad skipping and intelligence on how DVR homes use advanced services.

The holy grail here is census-level sample of all set-tops. Portland, OR-based Rentrak (RENT) is working on that.

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