Bill Feininger, SVP of media measurement for FourthWall Media, began his career as an engineer at Honeywell, and after several other positions moved to Nielsen Media Research where he worked in interactive televisions and advanced advertising. His current job at FourthWall involves the launch of a new and exciting set-top-box data analytics service, Massive Data. In my interview with him, Bill talks about his work at FourthWall, his responsibilities in building an analytics business collecting set-top-box data from 1.3 million homes and growing, the profile of the Massive Data footprint, the impact of connected TV on the measurement business, and more.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview, whose five videos can be viewed here.
CW: Bill, tell us about FourthWall. What type of company is it, and where is it going?
BF: FourthWall has been in business for about 12 years and started as a data services business to understand audiences for various media. At the time it was really an Internet services company, but it has since evolved into a television services company. Today we produce EBIF platforms for a number of different clients. We are on both the Motorola and Cisco platforms. We also have applications that run on top of those EBIF platforms – both our own and other compliant platforms that are in the field today. And then from there we have gone into our data services business.
We also have an ad widget business. It can take a linear spot, the mpeg file itself, and we can enhance it so that can provide different overlays. And then there are targeting capabilities so those overlays can then be different for the different segments of your audience.
We don’t have a cross-platform play today, although we do have a product called Air Command that allows you to connect a secondary device such as an iPad or a cell phone and pair it with your EBIF-enabled set-top box so that you can use the cloud-based services that we have at our disposal or that we provide to our MSO partners (so they can provide that infrastructure) and allow those two devices to work together. The secondary screen generally has Internet capabilities, and we can measure pieces of that as well and fold that in.
CW: Tell me about your new analytics business service, Massive Data.
BF: Massive Data is a new division within the company. It is the embodiment of what we set out to do in the first place -- which is to take our data and reporting services and really expand upon them greatly. Our first area of concentration focuses on understanding what audience segments look like across all the viewing that we are collecting data from today.
We are collecting data from about 1.3 million households today – it’s a little over 2 million set-top boxes. We take that data and then we can now really start to understand what the audiences are, based upon their viewing behaviors and their viewing patterns, and then we also supplement that with a little bit of demographic and psychographic data for various cluster across the United States. Our footprint now is about 82 DMAs and it is continuing to expand. We project it to double in the next few months. We also collect data from over 4M set-top boxes for Charter Communications.