How TiVo is moving past the set-top box to lead the advanced TV advertising charge

Most consumers still recognize TiVo for its industry-changing set-top box. And now, even if most DVRs enable you to skip commercials on recorded programs, few interfaces are as user friendly as TiVo’s. Where TiVo’s business has evolved most, though, is on the advertiser and platform services side, led by Walt Horstman, SVP/ GM, Advanced Media & Advertising. TiVo is combining data it collects via set-top boxes with data it collects via OTT and connected TV  partnerships, enabling advertisers to more effectively measure and target. For more on TiVo’s Advanced Media & Advertising unit, we spoke with Horstman:

Found Remote:  How is TiVo helping to lead the advanced TV advertising charge?

Horstman: The key foundational elements of advanced advertising are robust video viewership data, personalization and sophisticated targeting and measurement.  These elements are all the more important as the media ecosystem fragments.  The organizing principle to unify the fragmentation is data and its application.   TiVo’s Advanced Media and Advertising business has a large and growing population of deterministic TV viewership data across all DMAs.  We build insights from this data to personalize media companies’ marketing efforts, to target and measure TV plus digital campaigns.  We also create new advanced advertising products, such as our Sponsored Discovery offering, that promotes content in a targeted, contextually relevant fashion that is very effective.

FR: With more and more people dropping set-top boxes and DVRS for over-the-top and cloud DVR options, where will TiVo fit in?

Horstman: The growth of OTT and Connected TV content distribution is the most significant change across the media industry.  We are actively bringing more streaming video options into the TiVo experience and providing a best-in-class user experience to allow consumers to find the content they want as seamlessly as possible through personalized recommendations, search and unified metadata.  Further, for advertisers, we bring together our TV viewership data with OTT and Connected TV data to provide a comprehensive view of audience targeting and measurement.

FR: What is TiVo able to offer marketers that no other company in the advanced TV space is able to offer?

Horstman: 18 months ago, TiVo made a strategic decision that TV viewership data is a vital asset for the advanced TV industry.  Additionally, the ability to apply the data in a multitude of sophisticated ways is critical.  We have been successful in securing the rights to a large and growing pool of TV viewership data.  But data is only as good as the ability to use it.  Our Targeted Audience Delivery (TAD) platform allows advertisers to extract key insights quickly from the data and to join it easily with other behavioral data sets to apply across digital, mobile, Connected TV for unified targeting and measurement.

FR: We’ve been talking about addressable and advanced TV targeting for the past five years. Why are you confident that the industry is finally there?

Horstman: The major development in addressable and advanced TV targeting over the past five years has been the availability and application of TV data at scale.  We can now use this data to target with great sophistication and truly understand how TV advertising changes consumer behavior.  The data has further taken down the silos of TV and digital campaigns.  Agencies and advertisers can now measure the impact of TV advertising on digital efforts and optimize across a multi-platform activation.   

FR: Which trends are you most bullish about for this TV season? 

Horstman: The quality and quantity of great content continues unabated and in increasing total video consumption.  I’m most excited about the opportunities for advertisers to bring together their linear TV strategies with Connected TV to ensure their messages are reaching the right audience regardless of content distribution method.  We are very focused on bridging these two worlds with our unique TV data and tech platform.

Adam Flomenbaum

The new Found Remote