Media Insights Q&A With TiVo's Todd Juenger

Todd Juenger, who is vice president and general manager, audience research and measurement for TiVo, is someone on the forefront of data collection and analysis. TiVo, despite its subset of a subset database (DVR users who own a TiVo DVR box), boasts a deep and rich data stream that can be segmented by delivery service, whether MSO or Satellite or Telco, and by platform, whether analog or digital.

This interview encompasses a range of media issues including how brand managers view media, TiVo's partnership with Quantcast, the potential for set top box data measurement, privacy issues, future predictions and how Juenger got to where he is today.

Links to the full interview videos can be found at http://weislermedia.blogspot.com/search?q=juenger

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Charlene Weisler: TiVo is one of several set-top-box data companies, but one with a unique position. Can you talk about TiVo's use, ownership and perspective on set-top-box data.

Todd Juenger: Absolutely. One of the things I inherited by the nature of working for TiVo is something that really sets us apart and is actually a huge advantage. We built our own set-top boxes. We built the software that runs on the set-top boxes. We deployed those set-top boxes to our own subscribers who are paying us to have their set-top boxes in their living room, which means that we own the data.

So we have our own privacy policy with our consumers. We set all the conditions that we live up to with our subscribers on what we can do with the data, and based on how we control that, it's up to us as to what we do.

Most anybody else who is in the set-top-box research industry finds themselves dependent on finding data somewhere. And we don't have to do that. So it gives us a lot of control about what we can do with the data. It also gives us a great advantage in terms of the reliability and the assuredness of the quality of our data -- because we built those boxes and we built the software on it.

One of the things that I think people have started to really come to understand about set-top-box data is that you have to be aware of the garbage in, garbage out sort of scenario. Just because these are digital devices on set tops doesn't necessarily mean that they are producing what I would call reliable data that lives up to the standards that you need it to. At TiVo we have full control over that, so I actually have full and high confidence over the veracity of our data largely because we can control it.

CW: Todd, can you give me three predictions for the next five years?

TJ: Sure. This is one of those things where a guy like me would want to say something startling or something that you haven't heard before. I could probably come up with some of those things, but I am not sure that they would be real predictions.

CW: No, give me your real ones.

TJ: The real ones -- maybe you've heard them before -- but the biggest one is this: Fragmentation is such an incredible phenomenon and is going to become so much more undeniably central to everything that is consumed in the media world over the next however many years.

[Fragmentation] has been going on for a while. So you have, in my lifetime, gone from 10 broadcast networks to the introduction of cable, the introduction of the remote control, the introduction of the Internet. So fragmentation has been going on for a while, but the pace of it and the extent of it is unprecedented.

And combine that with the prediction of phenomenon number two, which is, again, not something that you haven't heard before, but -- the idea of consumer control is what I think is really driving the impact of the fragmentation. So not only do you have all these new choices that are available because of new technologies, the same technologies are also enabling the consumer to really dictate on what terms they are going to interact with anything.

And you put those two forces together and they sort of multiply across each other and reinforce each other. It is obviously going to break down for researchers like me. The challenge that that presents is, all of the old methods are inadequate to cope with it. So we have to find new methods, [which] makes it an incredibly interesting and fun place to be. In fact, I hope it will attract some amazing new talent into this industry who haven't even grown up with the old way of doing things....

CW: Todd, this has really been a fascinating interview. Thank you. You know, people have been saying that this is the age of the consumer, but I would like to posit that this is the age of research.

TJ: Hear, hear!

Tags: research, tv
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