Rovi in Measurement Deal with TNS Media Research

--Collaboration Billed as Providing Deeper Understanding of EPG Usage and Advertising

Rovi (formerly Macrovision--for more on the company's name change and the repositioning it heralds, see the interview with Rovi chief evangelist, Richard Bullwinkle, that was published on, July 16th) announced Wednesday that it is partnering with TNS Media Research to develop advanced TV and set-top box measurement solutions. According to the company, the partnership combines its clickstream technology with TNS's reporting capabilities to enable "some of the richest measurement in the industry," including measurement of viewing across live, recorded and on-demand TV programming, as well as measurement of EPG usage.

Under the terms of the companies' agreement, TNS will measure the performance of advertising in Rovi EPG's in participating cable systems; and the companies will also collaborate to provide guide and audience measurement solutions to cable systems and advertisers. "The ability to gain granular insight into viewing behavior as a result of Return Path Data (RPD) from STB's is redefining the definition of audience measurement," George Shababb, president of TNS Media Research North America, said in a prepared statement. "It's no longer just about reach and ratings, but about gaining true insight into the habits of the audience. TNS Media Research has pioneered the use of RPD through its DIRECTView and Charter Los Angeles services, and we are looking forward to working with Rovi Corporation to develop new applications and services, including in the area of IPG's." Added Rovi president and CEO, Fred Amoroso: "As entertainment choices multiply, MSO's, programmers and advertisers need better tools to understand evolving consumer behavior and use that knowledge to further enhance the viewing experience. We also know that IPG's are integral to the TV viewing experience and have a profound influence on what people choose to watch. This collaboration between TNS Media Research, a global leader in media measurement, and Rovi, a leader in IPG technology, marks an important milestone in advancing the industry's understanding of IPG usage and TV viewing habits."

According to Rovi's internal estimates, its EPG advertising technology is active in over 50 million households around the world, including 25 million in the US--making it one of the most broadly deployed interactive TV advertising platforms. Citing an August, 2007 Lieberman "IPG Attitude and Usage Study," that it claims shows that EPG's provide advertisers with a loyal, highly engaged audience, the company says that 80% of Rovi households say they cannot watch TV without the EPG and that 74% use the EPG as soon as they turn on their TV. After initiating its measurement campaign less than a year ago, Rovi says, it has enlisted MSO's to participate in EPG user measurement in five of the top media markets and a dozen total markets nationwide. It says that data are reported on an anonymous, aggregated basis that does not contain personally identifiable information.

TNS claims to have pioneered the development of new measurement metrics based on RPD from digital set-tops, through initiatives with DirecTV, Comcast and Charter. It says that its new partnership with Rovi extends its services beyond second-by-second TV audience behavior and addressable advertising to include the "exciting field of IPG's."

North America