The service, known as TiVo Stop||Watch, provides the opportunity to drill down into audience behavior on the most granular basis, to track viewing of each second of specific ads seen in both "live" and time-shifted modes.
Two large media buyers have previously inked deals with TiVo for the service: Starcom and Interpublic Group. Both are looking to the service as a tool for evaluating issues, such as which programs and networks generate the highest viewer retention rates during breaks, as well as general DVR behavior.
(TNS Media Research also provides second-by-second data based on a sampling of Los Angeles-area viewers, and has Scripps Networks and MTV Networks as clients. Starcom made an upfront deal with Discovery for its HD channel based on that data.)
Crispin is less a media buyer than a creative group with clients such as Burger King and Volkswagen. It is the only creative shop known to have bought the TiVo data--so the service will be used as fodder for evaluating the success of its ads' creative twists and turns.
For example, it may find viewers fast-forwarding through--or turning away from--spots plugging a Whopper price reduction, but staying tuned for ones for Burger King with a humorous brand message. Such insight could alter its creative process going forward. Discovering which ads work best in which programming is also a goal, as well as how competitors' spots work. (TiVo data shows that ads from Wendy's perform particularly well.)
"In this highly competitive industry, it is imperative that we identify new trends and recognize which commercials pique viewer interest in which programming, and at what point in the programming," said Crispin's Jim Poh.
While both media and creative agencies are prepping for how to work within continued growth in DVR penetration, gaining insight into the TiVo user base (which was over 4 million) can be helpful. However, TiVo users are believed to be more upscale and tech-savvy than the general population, raising the question of whether widespread conclusions can be drawn from its data.
The TiVo data is released daily. It covers viewing the day before and is culled from behavior of 20,000 TiVo units, which are tracked anonymously.