Media Insights Q&A With Raviv Knoller

Raviv Knoller is the CEO of AdsVantage, an international company that is using set-top box-data to help advertisers more effectively target potential customers.


Direct links to the full interview videos can be found at

Following is a short excerpt from the interview:

CW: Can you talk about the media environment in Israel and how research plays a role there?

RK: First, it is important to say that Israeli TV is very advanced TV in all aspects -- not only that it is digital and on-demand and VOD and games. So looking at Israeli TV, we can't quite compare it to the U.S. television market.

Also, most of the best of U.S. content arrives in Israel. Israel looks more like a mid-sized DMA like in the States. We have one cable operator with one million households and a satellite operator with 500,000 households -- and both of them are quite active. And in the aspect of measurement, we have TNS, which controls the Israeli market. They have a company called Telegal that produces the ratings and they measure seven channels -- only seven channels. There are four channels in Israel that allow advertising, two general-purpose type of channels like NBC [or] ABC, and one music channel and one Russian language channel.



CW: How do you deal with set-top-box privacy issues?

RK: First, I totally agree that we should deal with this and not neglect that issue. The important thing is that our system does not get any private information, private identification. That means that if I know that a certain household has certain demographic traits, I could not identify that household. I know that in household #5 (for example) there is a male and a female but I cannot associate this information with any kind of specificity.

So what we are doing is a double-blind match, and in this way we get hashed identifiers on one side which doesn't say anything to us. And then with the same hashed information from another side, we get the demographics (if we have it) and in this way we can combine the information. We cannot identify anybody.

All of this information is an input into our system. The system output is ratings which means it is only about statistics eventually. This means that there are no privacy issues. We know about the privacy issues and we are very sensitive to that....

CW: More thoughts on set-top-box data?

RK: I think the value of "knowing" is very important for decision-making. If we can sum up the value of set-top-box data measurement, it would help me decide what channels I would want to add to my line-up, or how much will I pay the channel -- or, if I am selling the air time, what is the value of the air time and do I do the right programming and am I doing the best for my business?

So the set-top-box data is adding to the system for better decision-making. It is an additional tool and not the thing itself. The thing itself is to make better TV -- TV that competes well with other media and is more accountable.

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