OpenTV Opens Up Its Measurement Platform, Sets Up Analysis Partner Program

Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, announced Tuesday that it will open up its TV measurement platform by publishing, later this year, the format of key data points that its software is able to measure on the set-top box. The company says that this open access will allow the developer community, data analysis partners and other service providers to integrate with its measurement solution more easily, and will foster the creation of next-generation set-top box services with enhanced personalization features, such as addressable and interactive advertising and content addressability.

OpenTV also announced the creation of an Analysis Partner Program, which it says will offer operators a solution for accurately measuring viewer behavior on the set-top box with minimal change to existing infrastructure. Initial participants in the program, according to the company, include AdsVantage, Nielsen, Rentrak and TNS. OpenTV claims that, by combining its expertise in middleware with the data analysis capabilities of experts in the measurement field, it is enabling operators to drive new and higher advertising revenues, monitor quality of service issues, better manage their channel line-ups and subscription tiering, and measure usage of such service offerings as PVR, VOD and interactive TV--all while respecting viewer privacy. "By opening up our platform and extending it to third-party solutions, we are taking a major step toward enriching the television experience and creating a uniform approach to measurement," Tracy Geist, OpenTV's SVP of business development, said in a prepared statement. "We're not only enabling service providers to capture relevant information--especially on viewing behavior and PVR interactions--and giving them access to crucial reporting and analysis capabilities, but we're enabling the developer community to create exciting new applications for next-generation television, to make it more personalized and meaningful."

OpenTV's measurement solution is part of the company's Core2 middleware platform. According to the company, it can be integrated seamlessly with any of the various supported interfaces, resulting in a streamlined offering for operators looking to take advantage of detailed data available through the set-top box, while simultaneously "fully protecting" viewer privacy: the company claims that the solution is sufficiently flexible to allow collected click stream data to be anonymized either by storing only roll-up data or by applying privacy filtering at the time of data send-back. It also allows network operators to secure interfaces with third parties, the company says, while retaining their own access to data, and to comply with geography-specific regulations. Benefits claimed by OpenTV for the solution include:

  • New advertiser-based revenues: the company says that second-by-second audience measurement allows advertisers to see how long viewers watch ads before zapping or fast-forwarding; and that operators can generate new revenues from advertisers by selling ad viewership reports.
  • Higher advertising revenues from low-viewership channels: OpenTV says that channels with less than 2% viewership are typically undervalued by advertisers because of the lack of accurate reporting by traditional audience-measurement techniques. According to the company, more accurate measurement of these channels' audiences can increase their value to advertisers and therefore increase the potential of the operator to derive revenues.
  • Better management of the channel line-up: the company says that detailed viewership data across channels gives network operators the tools they need to negotiate with content providers more effectively by validating the content-viewing assumptions that drive pricing decisions.
  • Validation of existing services and introduction of new ones: the company says that usage data on services such as PVR and VOD can validate--or challenge--assumptions about an offering's appeal, revealing decisions on features and functionalities that can significantly increase an operator's return on investment. When incorporated into a new feature roll-out or pilot, the company says, detailed data can shape development and better ensure success.
  • Measurement of interactive applications, including the user interface: the company says that operators can understand in detail how users interact with the "face" of their service--i.e. the user interface and other interactive content--enabling them to easily identify areas for improvement.
  • Monitoring and improving quality of service: the company says that detailed, second-by-second information about what occurs on the set-top box enables network operators to identify systemic problems and address them proactively, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing costly service calls and customer churn.

OpenTV plans to demo its measurement solution in its booth (Hall 1, Stand C81) at the IBC show in Amsterdam later this week.

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