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TiVo Pacts With TRA

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TiVo and upstart research service TRA, Inc. are partnering to create a research service that will correlate household purchasing behavior with media exposure. Through the agreement, announced Tuesday (June 24) at the Advertising Research Foundation's audience measurement conference in New York, TRA will license and market TiVo audience data from 1.7 million subscribers as part of its TRA Media TRAnalytics service.

In development for several years, TRA's Media TRAnalyics service gathers TV viewing data from digital set top boxes from three cable MSOs and combines it with shopping behavior data from consumers' frequent shopper cards for seven grocery store chains. The service, which uses fusion research methods to match viewing and purchase data provides a more cost effective substitute for single-source research panels.

"By combining forces, TiVo and TRA will essentially be offering the 'single source' measurement of television viewing and product purchasing behavior that the marketing community has been asking for since the 1970s," said David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS Corp. and president of CBS Vision.

For TiVo, which is licensing its data to TRA, the financial arrangement fits in with the company's growing strategy to supplement its subscription TV service by mining audience research from its set top boxes.

"This is a great way to use our data, and take it further than who watched and who didn't," said Todd Juenger, vp and general manager of audience research and measurement for TiVo.

Nielsen's NielsenConnect division has also been developing research services based on combining databases to provide advertisers with new audience metrics beyond simple age and sex demographics. The company recently launched NielsenConnections, which fuses the company's TV viewing data with its online and product purchase data.

Nielsen is the parent company of Mediaweek.