IPG Signs With TiVo’s StopWatch

NEW YORK Interpublic Group on Monday said it would subscribe to TiVo’s StopWatch ratings service, giving it access to second-by-second viewing data.

Under the terms of the deal, which will be funded through IPG’s Emerging Media Lab, Magna Global, Initiative and Universal McCann will be granted full access to the TiVo ratings data.

IPG is the second entity to sign on for the service, following Publicis Groupe’s Starcom, which began its subscription when TiVo first introduced the system in January.

(Starcom also happens to be the first agency to sign with TNS Media Research, which is collecting second-by-second ratings data from 300,000 Los Angeles-area cable homes.)

As a second-by-second service, TiVo’s StopWatch offers insight into the viewing behavior of the company’s 4.5 million subscribers, capturing both live and time-shifted viewing. Nielsen Media Research does not offer such a granular data set to its clients; the closest it comes is with its minute-by-minute ratings, which it began issuing on a limited basis in October 2006.

Nielsen Media Research is owned by Mediaweek and Adweek parent, the Nielsen Co.

“Subscribing to the TiVo StopWatch ratings service enables us to better understand second-by-second commercial viewership during time-shifted and live viewing,” said Larry Blasius, evp, director of negotiations for Magna Global, which hammered out the deal. “We are committed to delivering maximum results for our clients, with return on investment for their media choices.”

Blasius added that the StopWatch data would allow Magna Global to better assess the dynamics of commercial pods.

StopWatch data is culled from a sample of 20,000 TiVo DVRs. The raw numbers are then broken down into a number of different data sets, including live and time-shifted viewing, and program and commercial ratings.